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USDA AWARDS $1.52 MILLION FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
WASHINGTON, June 19, 2008 — Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced today that 20 individuals and businesses in six states have been selected to receive $1.52 million in loans and grants for renewable energy systems or to increase energy efficiency in farm and business operations. The funds are being provided under USDA Rural Development's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency program.
"This funding is part of USDA's ongoing effort to help farmers and businesses invest in technology that will improve their efficiency and their bottom line," Conner said. "Investments such as these help conserve energy as well as help small businesses."
The funding announced today will support a variety of energy-production and energy-saving efforts. For example, JRT Focus Farms Ltd. in Rock Rapids, Iowa, has been selected to receive a $37,267 loan and $37,266 grant to add a geothermal system for the farm's shop and office to make the farm's operations more energy efficient. James Walter of DeKalb County, Ill., has been selected to receive a $49,910 loan and $49,910 grant to replace a 30-year-old grain dryer with a new, high efficiency model that is expected to reduce energy costs by 44 percent.
Tom Kuchta in Peshtigo, Wis., has been selected for a $49,999 loan and $49,998 grant to replace two continuous flow dryers with a new, more energy efficient model. The new dryer is expected to save 6,670 gallons of liquefied petroleum and lower energy costs by $20,137.
Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the award agreement. A complete list of the selected projects is below.
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency loan and grant program was established under Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill to encourage agricultural producers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems and energy efficient improvements. The program's funding can support a wide range of technologies encompassing biomass (including anaerobic digesters), geothermal, hydrogen, solar, and wind energy, as well as energy efficiency improvements.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested more than $90 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.7 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov .
The following organizations have been selected to receive Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency loans and grants.