KIRKLAND, Wash. --- Bill Gates apparently has confidence in the potential of ethanol as an alternative fuel. The Microsoft chairman's personal investment company, Cascade Investment LLC, has agreed to invest $84 million in Pacific Ethanol Inc., an alternative fuel producer based in Fresno, Calif. , according to a report in Puget Sound Business Journal. Pacific Ethanol Inc. is building its first major ethanol production plant in Madera County, Calif. Plans call for four additional facilities on the West Coast.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials