This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 23, 2008

USDA Awards $6.9 Million for Renewable Energy, Efficiency Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on July 22 that it will award $6.9 million in loans and grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency projects at farms and rural small businesses. The USDA will award the loans and grants to 27 individuals and businesses in seven states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The awards, provided under the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program of USDA's Rural Development office, often go towards the purchase of more energy-efficient grain dryers, but the current batch of loans and grants will also support the installation of an anaerobic digester at a Wisconsin dairy farm. The digester will convert cow manure into methane, which will be burned in an engine to power a 250-kilowatt generator. In addition, a loan and grant package will support the installation of a reverse osmosis purification unit at a maple syrup business in Vermont. See the USDA press release.