Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding for More Than 500 Projects to Boost Renewable Energy Production, Reduce Energy Costs for Producers and Rural Small Businesses
U.S. Department of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced loans and grants for more than 500 agricultural producers and rural small businesses across the country to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations.
"This funding is an important part of the Obama Administration's plan to help the nation's farmers, agricultural producers and rural small businesses conserve natural resources, create more green jobs and lead us on the path to becoming an energy independent nation," Vilsack said. "These projects are in addition to the more than 900 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects recently announced during the President's Rural Economic Forum."
The grants and loan guarantees are being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a 2008 Farm Bill initiative. REAP offers funds for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other funding sources for small businesses. In all, USDA announced today more than $27 million in energy grants and guaranteed loans for projects.
The REAP program is helping many agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption. For example, in Kirkwood, Pa., Jay Clifford Sensenig was selected to receive a $309,733 grant to install a co-op digester system that will process annually more than 16,800 tons of dairy, hog and chicken manure from four farms into methane gas, creating more than 879,000 kilowatts per year of electricity. In addition, the digester system is designed to accept and process food waste. The host farm uses 232,000 kilowatts annually; the excess energy produced from the digester will be sold to the local utility.
Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 2011-09-19 14:09