Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding for Projects to Boost Renewable Energy Production, Reduce Energy Consumption
DES MOINES, IOWA, August 14, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today 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.
In Calumet, Wis., WTE-Dallmann LLC is receiving a REAP grant to help fund the installation of an anaerobic digester that will generate more than 4.8 million kWh of electricity, enough to power 420 homes annually. The power will be sold to the local electric utility.
Anaerobic digester technology is a proven method of converting waste products, such as manure, into electricity. Anaerobic digesters are in concert with an agreement Secretary Vilsack signed with U.S. dairy producers in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009 to accelerate the adoption of innovative manure-to-energy projects on American dairy farms.
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.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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