Heartland Renaissance Fund (HRF), an Arkansas-based Community Development Entity, announced today that it financed a substantial expansion to a torrefied wood pellet manufacturer, BTH Quitman Hickory, LLC. Heartland utilized $24 million dollars of its New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) to finance the expansion. The new equipment should increase the plant’s capacity and provide additional employment opportunities at its Quitman Mississippi facility. Torrefied wood pellets are a cleaner, carbon neutral substitute to burning coal to produce energy. According to the company’s website, torrefied wood pellets “meet the renewable portfolio standards adopted by numerous states in the United States. As a result, coal plant operators can obtain subsidies and satisfy renewable energy requirements by incorporating torrefied wood into their production process.” The website also states that BTH Quitman Hickory “is currently the only company in the world successfully operating a commercial scale torrefied wood pellet plant.” The New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) Program was established in 2000 as part of the community Renewal Tax Relief Act. The goal of the program is to spur revitalization efforts of low-income and other communities underserved by traditional capital across the United States and Territories. The NMTC Program provides tax credit incentives to investors for equity investments in certified Community Development Entities, such as Heartland Renaissance, which invest in low-income communities and projects.