USDA is seeking applications to increase the production and use of renewable energy sources. Funding is available from four USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
“This funding will help spur investments in technologies that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, conserve natural resources and help build a sustained renewable energy industry in rural America,” says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “Support provided by USDA through these programs will not only benefit the environment, it will create green jobs and help America become more energy self-sufficient.”
Eligible projects include installing renewable energy systems such as wind turbines, solar, geothermal, biomass, anaerobic digesters, hydroelectric, and ocean or hydrogen systems. Funding may also be used to purchase energy-efficient equipment, add insulation, and improve heating and cooling systems. USDA is accepting applications for grants and loan guarantees in the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) until June 30, 2010.