The Florida Crystals sugar company is no stranger to renewable energy. The company claims it has reduced dependence on foreign oil by about 800,000 barrels a year thanks to its New Hope Power Partnership, located next to the company's Okeelanta facility. The NHPP turns sugar cane fiber and urban wood waste into electricity used by the company and about 60,000 homes (how this directly eliminates oil imports is unclear, but I get that they're making energy from biomass products, which is cool).
Last week, the University of Florida selected the Okeelanta facility as the location to build a new $20 million cellulosic
research and demonstration plant. The idea is to create a cellulosic ethanol plant that can produce between 1-2 million gallons of ethanol each year using technology developed by UF professors that can make ethanol from sugarcane bagasse and other biomass sources.
[Source: Florida Crystals Corporation]