USDA grants to boost renewable energy

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 106 projects in 29 states, Guam and Puerto Rico have been selected for funding to produce renewable energy and make energy efficiency improvements. Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

“The Obama Administration is helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners across the country reduce their energy costs and consumption,” Vilsack said. “This is part of the President’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, which involves expanding support for traditional as well as alternative energy sources. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America.”

For example, in Washington County, Iowa, Andrew McCall is receiving a guaranteed loan to construct a 50 kilowatt (kW) wind turbine at his agricultural business. The turbine is expected to generate approximately 103,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, enough to meet the annual requirements of nine homes. In Adair, Iowa, Meadow Ridge Wind Energy, LLC is receiving a guaranteed loan that will be used to purchase and install a 1.5 million kW wind turbine. The turbine is expected to generate 5.77 million kWh of electricity annually, enough to meet the annual electricity requirements of more than 500 homes.

REAP provides grants and loan guarantees for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. For a complete listing of recipients announced today, click here:http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdREAPRecipientsAugust2012.pdf.

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