Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA Rural Development is providing loans and grants for 433 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Iowa under the Rural Energy for America Program. The funding includes support for wind projects that will generate renewable energy for businesses and agricultural producers. Also selected for funding are an anaerobic digester and renewable energy projects that use biomass as a fuel source.
Secretary Vilsack says farmers have significant opportunity to reduce their energy consumption or generate income by producing renewable energy that can be used by other consumers. The funding totals nearly $32 million and is expected to generate significant cost savings for recipients as they replace outdated equipment and install systems that create renewable energy or reduce energy use.
These are not the first such grants and loans. One previous recipient is a farm engine and equipment repair shop in Spencer, Iowa. Shop owner Gary Hoefling moved his businesses from two locations to a new, 6,750-square-foot, energy-efficient building in fall 2008. The new building has a geothermal heating and cooling system that was paid in part by a $27,250 energy grant from USDA Rural Development.