A plane casts a shadow as it flies over a field, the source of its biofuel.Sustainable aviation fuels are a major push in Washington State. So much so that legislation was just signed into law that provides SAF, as it is known, with subsidies and speeds up permitting for plant construction.

That was enough to tip the scale for SkyNRG, a Dutch firm looking to build a new biogas plant to produce sustainable aviation fuel, a crucial part of efforts to decarbonize the aviation industry. Aviation contributes about 2.5% of worldwide carbon emissions.

SkyNRG CEO Phillippe Lacamp said the company plans to build a plant somewhere in the state that will become operational by 2028 or 2029 and employ up to 600 workers during construction and 100 permanent positions once the plant is up and running.

The legislation “positions Washington state as the most attractive, most supportive state for SAF,” said Lacamp. “It’s the most generous state in the nation now.”

Several locations are being considered, but the company wants to have a dialog with the local communities before naming a location as the company wants to make sure it is a good neighbor. The plant will be able to produce up to 90,000 metric tons of sustainable aviation fuels a year or about 30 million gallons.

Large-scale SAF production will achieve a 65% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, says Lacamp.  “We see these technologies as being absolutely essential for the ongoing development of the aviation industry in terms of 2050 targets.”

The new legislation creates tax credits that will provide subsidies of up to $2 per gallon for SAF, which is two to five times more expensive than regular jet fuel, which currently costs about $2.17 per gallon. A separate bill accelerates permitting and environmental review for constructing clean energy plants.

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