USDA provides funding for energy-efficiency projects

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $102 million in loan guarantees and $71 million in grants to more than 1,100 rural small businesses and agricultural producers in the form of loans and grants, according to announcement yesterday by Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The loans and grants will help improve energy efficiency and/or renewable energy systems. Every state as well as the Virgin Islands, the Western Pacific and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will benefit from the USDA’s loans and grants.

"More rural business owners and ag producers are incorporating energy-saving measures into their business plans," Vilsack said. "These actions improve an operation's bottom line and help reduce its carbon footprint. This funding will help incorporate renewable energy and energy-efficiency technology and reduce energy costs. But beyond the local benefits seen by a company saving energy costs and the global benefits of reducing carbon emissions, this funding will also create American jobs by supporting energy production and efficiency installations that are made in rural America."

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) from the USDA is offering nearly $6 million for 17 anaerobic digesters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington.

The USDA also wants to remind eligible recipients that they are still accepting applications for future REAP funding. For application details, eligible recipients should contact a USDA state energy coordinator.

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United States Department of Agriculture

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