News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017159
ContactJamie Welch Jaro801-524-4324
(JUNE 26, 2012) SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR PROJECTS TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION, REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Washington, D.C., Jun 26, 2012 --

@@For immediate release

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR PROJECTS TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION, REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

Additional Assistance for Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies Awarded

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced that USDA has selected for funding 450 projects nationwide, including 2 in Utah, that are focused on helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs; use renewable energy technologies in their operation; and/or conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. Funding is made available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

“The Obama Administration and USDA are helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners reduce their energy costs and consumption – and by doing so is helping to create jobs, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strengthen the bottom line for businesses.” said Vilsack. “This is part of the Administration’s “all of the above” energy strategy. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America.”

In Utah, two grants are awarded to conduct feasibility studies for local businesses to improve renewable energy systems. Salt Gulch Electric, LLC out of Boulder has received $15,000 to investigate a small hydro power project. The project is located in Garfield county and it is proposed an irrigation ditch will be replaced with pipe to benefit ranchers and use its pressure to generate electricity.

The second feasibility study in Utah will be conducted by Time Energy Associates, LLC, who received a $50,000 grant to explore the benefits of constructing a wind farm in rural Utah. If this project is feasible it will generate renewable electricity for the area.

Today’s announcement includes $412,304 in grant funding to 20 agricultural producers and rural businesses to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems. REAP offers funds for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other funding sources for businesses. In all, USDA announced nearly $7.4 million in energy grants today.

Today’s announcement is an example of investments the Obama Administration is making to help create jobs and grow the rural economy. For a complete listing of Rural Energy for America Program grant recipients announced today, please click here.

   USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices.  Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in affordable 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.

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Contact: Jamie Welch Jaro, Public Affairs Officer, Jamie.WelchJaro@ut.usda.gov (801) 524-4324