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

September 09, 2009

USDA Awards $13 Million for Rural Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on September 2 that it is providing more than $13 million in loans and grants for 233 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 38 states under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The REAP program is authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill to support clean energy projects at farms, ranches, and rural small businesses. The loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies, and energy audits. Among the recipients, projects range from funding for replacement of aging, inefficient farm equipment to investments in renewable energy installations, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower projects.

For example, Milford Wind Energy, LLC, in Story City, Iowa, was selected to receive a $1.8 million guaranteed loan and a $500,000 grant to build a 900-kilowatt wind turbine. When complete next year, the turbine is expected to produce nearly 3.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which will be sold to the local utility company. And Terrydale Farms, Inc. in Charleston, Illinois, will receive a $20,000 grant to replace a 25-year-old grain dryer. The replacement dryer is expected to cut energy consumption by nearly 37%, lowering the farm's annual energy bill by more than $8,500. See the USDA press release, which includes a full list of recipients.