Renewable Energy Projects Get Investment

USDA awards more than $17 million in grants for 36 states.

This week USDA issued $17.5 million in Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program Grants to 375 recipients in 36 states. The grant program compliments the Bush Administration's effort to boost energy independence, according to the ag agency.

Eligible projects include those that derive energy from a wind, solar, biomass or geothermal source, or hydrogen-derived from biomass; or water using wind, solar or geothermal energy sources. Awards were made on a competitive basis for the purchase of renewable energy systems and to make energy improvements.

Many of the projects announced today will increase energy efficiency or produce renewable energy. For example, Energique, Inc. of Woodbine, Iowa will receive a grant of $31,444 to purchase and install a geothermal heating and cooling system to provide energy savings of up to 60 percent. In Pennsylvania, Brubaker Farms of Mount Joy will receive a $223,249 grant to install an anaerobic complete mix digester which will use farm waste to increase farm revenue through energy production. The Rural Development grant leverages funding from the applicant and a $600,000 Energy Harvest Grant from the State of Pennsylvania.

States receiving funding are Alaska, Ala., Ariz., Calif., Colo., Fla., Hawaii, Iowa, Ida., Ill., Ind., Kan., Mass., Maine, Mich., Minn., Mo., Miss., Mont., N.C., N.D., Neb., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., Ore., Pa., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Wis., W.Va., and Wyo. Since 2003 when the program was established, USDA has provided $87.3 million in grants and $34.3 million in loan guarantees to 844 applicants. A complete list of the grant recipients can be viewed at www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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