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USDA AWARDS $6.9 MILLION FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
Funding will help rural farmers and business owners save energy and improve operations
WASHINGTON, July 22, 2008 — Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced that 27 individuals and businesses in seven states have been selected to receive $6.9 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 Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program.
"The Bush administration is committed to providing more energy from within our nation's borders, and these loan and grant combinations announced today will help accomplish this important goal," Schafer said.
The funding will support a variety of energy-production and energy-saving efforts. For example, Bach Digester LLC in Dorchester, Wis., will receive $800,000 in loans and grants to construct an anaerobic digester on a dairy farm. The gas produced from this digester will be used to power a 250 kW generator onsite and will produce 2,518,500 kWh/year.
In Falls, Vt., Daniel Thomas Burns will use a $17,162 loan/grant package to buy and install energy efficient reverse osmosis equipment, purchase a 1,500-gallon storage tank needed to wash the unit, and modify electrical and plumbing systems for a maple syrup business in Sheldon, Vt.
Conrad Brothers, in Rose Hill, Iowa, will receive a combination package of $47,472 to replace two 20-plus-year-old dryers with a new Grain Systems (GSI) dryer, and a wet holding tank. This project is expected to provide energy savings up to 51.47 percent.
Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the award agreement. A complete list of the selected projects is below.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants
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 .