Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday announced funding for 244 projects nationwide that are focused on helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs, and use renewable energy technologies in their operations.
Funding is made available through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program. REAP offers financial assistance to 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 businesses. In all, USDA announced more than $16 million in energy investments Friday.
"USDA has partnered with thousands of America's farmers, ranchers and rural businesses to help them save energy and improve their bottom line," Vilsack said. "This effort is helping to provide stable energy costs that create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America."
For example, in Augusta, Wis., farmer Matthew Gabler has been selected for a grant to install an 11 kilowatt wind turbine producing approximately 29,000 kilowatt-hours a year for his farm.
In Washington state, Edaleen Cow Power LLC, located near Lynden, Whatcom County, has been selected to receive a Rural Energy for America Program Loan and Grant Combination of $2,638,000 to install an anaerobic digester and sell the resulting electricity to a utility. The project is anticipated to generate 4,635 Megawatt hours per year. Edaleen Dairy's 2,450-head herd will be the sole manure source for the project and the dairy will benefit by from the bedding byproduct the digester produces.
For a complete listing of USDA's Rural Energy for America Program grant and loan recipients announced Friday, click here.
For additional information on Rural Development projects, please visit the Rural Development web map.