MT. LAUREL, Jun 02, 2011 -- USDA, Rural Development State Director Howard Henderson is seeking applications from farmers, agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems or make improvements for energy efficiency projects. Funding is available from USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
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.
This year’s Notice of Funding Availability for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) will support $42 million in grants and $61 million in loan guarantees. New Jersey’s allocation for this program is over $730,000. Applications in excess of New Jersey’s allocation will compete nationally for funding.
Also with this program announcement, the USDA launches its initiative nationwide to fund the installation of E-85 blender pumps at 10,000 gas stations giving American’s the choice to fill their tanks with renewable fuel. Only 2,350 fueling stations pump E-85 fuel today. These flex-fuel pumps blend 85% ethanol with 15% gasoline for cars which can run on higher mixes. Gas station owners in rural areas can apply for grants of 25% of project costs up to $500,000. 50% of the remaining funding can be guaranteed loan funds under this program.
More information on how to apply for this funding is available in the April 14, 2011 Federal Register at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-8456.pdf.
Complete applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants and loans must be received no later than 4:30 PM on June 15, 2011. Applications for feasibility studies, energy audits and renewable energy assistance must be received no later than June 30, 2011. If you need further information please contact Victoria Fekete, Energy Coordinator at (856) 787-7752 or by e-mail at email@example.com.