New grants promote Michigan beers, ciders, wines and spirits

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council handed out more than $400,000 for research projects to benefit the state’s wine, beer, cider and distilling industry. Projects include the effects of climate change on crops, pest and disease management, and development of new varieties of hops, barley, fruits and
rye for use in brewing.

Cheap natural gas a challenge for cogeneration plant

In 2006 when a Minnesota group announced a $60 million biomass cogeneration plant, spot prices for natural gas topped $13 per million Btu. By the time the power plant began operating in May 2009, they had plunged below $4. Operators say they’ve stayed viable by cutting costs and upgrading efficiency.