USDA Gives $13 Mil for Renewable Energy Projects

John Davis

usda-logoThe USDA is handing out another $13 million in loans and grants for 233 renewable energy projects in rural areas of 38 different states.

The projects were announced in this press release and during a speech at the Farm Progress Show in Illinois, that included some of the highlighted projects:

The loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. These funds are not part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In Story City, Iowa, Milford Wind Energy, LLC, has been selected to receive a $1.8 million guaranteed loan and a $500,000 grant to build a 900 kilowatt wind turbine for energy generation. When complete, the turbine is expected to produce nearly 3.3 million kilowatts of electricity annually and generate more than $200,000 in electricity that will be sold to the local utility company. Construction of the turbine is expected to be completed next year.

REAP funding is already contributing to increased renewable energy production. For example, in 2003, USDA Rural Development approved a $300,000 renewable energy grant to Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC., in Palestine, Ill. The 453-farmer cooperative operates a livestock feed production plant and a 49-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant. The grant enabled the cooperative to by a $1.4 million thermal oxidizer to control plant emissions. This critical piece of equipment removes 75 percent of the emissions from the dryer exhaust without reducing plant performance. The oxidizer has another benefit: the heat it produces is captured in a steam recovery system and turned into energy. Lincolnland’s USDA grant produced 37 local jobs.

You can read the complete list of projects here.

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