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

November 17, 2010

USDA Boosts more than 500 Rural Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced November 9 that it is providing more than $30 million in loans and grants to 516 recipients for rural renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The support is designed to help farmers, ranchers, and owners of rural businesses reduce energy costs and develop new sources of renewable energy. Funding is provided through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The loans and grants are intended to help replace outdated equipment, to insulate buildings, to pay for energy audits, and to incorporate renewable energy technologies into operations. In Warwick, Massachusetts, Mark and Jeanette Fellows were selected to receive a $14,000 grant to help fund a 8.36-kilowatt photovoltaic system that will offset more than 30% of their dairy farm's electrical usage. And in Salina, Kansas, PKM Steel Service, Inc. will receive a $41,000 grant to install energy efficient air compressors, boilers, temperature, and lighting controls. The program was authorized in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. Funding is contingent on the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant or loan agreement. See the USDA press release and the full list of award recipientsPDF.