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US Agriculture Department Invites applications for renewable energy projects

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US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is seeking applications from agricultural producers and rural small businesses for support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
US Agriculture Department Invites applications for renewable energy projects

Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

"The Obama Administration continues its commitment to help our nation become more energy independent by partnering with agricultural producers and rural small businesses as they build renewable energy systems and reduce energy usage," Vilsack said. "These investments will not only help our farmers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs, but also provide a new potential revenue source and stabilize their operations' bottom lines."

REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, (Farm Bill) is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs. USDA is accepting the following applications:

  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30, 2013;
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15, 2013;
  • Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30, 2013.

Since the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill and through the end of Fiscal Year 2012, REAP has funded nationwide over 6,800 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, feasibility studies, energy audits, and renewable energy development assistance projects.

Examples include Edaleen Cow Power LLC, located near Lynden, Washington, which received a REAP loan and grant combination to install an anaerobic digester and sell the resulting electricity to a utility. The project is anticipated to generate 4,635 Megawatt hours per year. Manure produced by Edaleen Dairy's 2,450-head herd is the sole feedstock for the project and the dairy benefits from the bedding byproduct the digester produces. Also, in Augusta, Wisconsin, farmer Matthew Gabler received a grant to assist in installation of an 11 kilowatt wind turbine to produce approximately 29,000 kilowatt-hours a year for his farm.

This funding is an example of the many ways that USDA is helping revitalize rural economies to create opportunities for growth and prosperity, support innovative technologies, identify new markets for agricultural producers, and better utilization of our nation's natural resources.

For additional information:

 

US Department of Agriculture

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