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

October 29, 2003

USDA and Rural Electric Coops to Advance Energy Efficiency, Renewables

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) signed an agreement with rural electric cooperatives on October 22nd to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in rural areas by removing technical and market barriers. The USDA signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to identify cost-effective, voluntary opportunities for rural electric cooperatives to partner with farmers and ranchers to reduce greenhouse gases. The agreement includes—but is not limited to—the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, fuel cells, microturbines, and biobased products. The agreement identifies areas for public-private cooperation in research, standards development, and education. See the USDA press release.

The agreement also calls for NRECA to assist member cooperatives toward a goal of increased use of renewable power technologies, including biomass co-fired power plants, biomass gasification power plants, animal waste-to-energy projects, landfill-methane power projects, and wind and solar energy. NRECA will also support the development of industry standards for the interconnection of distributed power sources to the electrical grid. See the full agreement, posted on the NRECA Web site (PDF 747 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.