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

September 22, 2004

USDA Awards $22.8 Million for Renewable and Efficiency Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on September 15th that it has selected 167 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to receive a total of $22.8 million in competitive grants. Rural small businesses, farmers, and ranchers will use the funds to build renewable energy systems and install energy efficiency improvements. Of the 94 renewable energy projects, most are either wind turbines or anaerobic digesters that convert farm wastes into energy, although a handful of projects involve solar power, geothermal energy, and biodiesel fuels. Most of the 73 energy efficiency grants will go towards upgrading buildings used by agricultural producers. See the USDA press release and the full list of grant recipients.

The USDA's Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program was created as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to assist farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements to their operations. See the program Web site.