Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 106 projects in 29 states, Guam and Puerto Rico have been selected for funding to produce renewable energy and make energy efficiency improvements. Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.
"The Obama Administration is helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners across the country reduce their energy costs and consumption," Vilsack said. "This is part of the President's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, which involves expanding support for traditional as well as alternative energy sources. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America."
For example, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, Peter Wagner of Applecrest Farm Orchards is receiving a grant toconstruct a 39.78 kilowatt (kW) Solar Photovoltaic system to help reduce energy usage at the family owned and operated agricultural business. The solar system is expected to replace approximately 48,903 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually.
REAP provides grants and loan guarantees for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. For a complete listing of recipients announced, click here:
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.