BOSTON-A bio-energy research center could be built in Massachusetts within the next few years if US Representative William Delahunt has his way. Delahunt is trying to make the Bay State the recipient of one of two such centers the federal government wants to build in order to study alternative fuels.

“The growth in the use of renewable fuels has skyrocketed in recent years and companies are becoming aware of a growing demand in our region,” a spokesman for the congressman tells, noting that the state’s many research universities and its large investment base would make Massachusetts an ideal location.

Although no site has yet been selected for the project, the spokesman says the Delahunt would like to see the facility located on the South Shore. As part of the incentive to build the facility, each center will receive $25 million in federal start up money along with $100 million over four years to research ways to convert materials into fuels that would eventually replace petroleum products.

Paul Angelico, president of Twin Rivers Technologies, one of two prominent bio-energy companies in the Bay State, tells luring a bio-energy research company to the state could have profound effects on the region’s energy consumption.

“What clearly needs to happen is that state governments need to be supportive of the use of renewable fuels either thru incentives or mandates,” says Angelico, whose firm, which produces bio-diesel fuel, is located on the Fore River in Quincy, one of the sites mentioned as a possible location for the bio-energy research center.

“It’s a great location,” he notes. “It would bring academia, business and government together to create a renewable energy vision, not only for this region but for the country.”

The company and another firm in Norwell, Bioenergy International LLC, are working with Delahunt to put together a bid to win the research facility. The location will be selected by the US Energy Department in June.

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