News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017388
ContactTammi Schone(605) 352-1102
(JUNE 25, 2012)AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES PROJECTS TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION, REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Huntersville, NC, Jun 25, 2012 --

@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA has selected 450 projects nationwide, including eight (8) in South Dakota, 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 is 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, and protect the environment while strengthening 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 creation in rural America.”

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement while touring a company in Huntersville, N.C. Meanwhile, in South Dakota Martins, Inc. based in Brookings is using a REAP grant to replace one of three gas pumps with a flex fuel pump; Drake Company, LLC based in Platte is using a REAP grant to make energy improvements to their operation with the installation of a ground mounted Solar PV Array which will provide energy for the business; Vogt’s Repair based in Armour will use a REAP grant to replace HVAC system, lighting, thermal envelope of repair shop building; Earth Goods based in Hot Springs will use REAP grant for freezer replacement; Ulti-Med/ShinAmerica based in DeSmet will use a REAP grant to upgrade lighting in their facility to increase energy efficiency; Flagshooter, LLC based in Garretson will use a REAP grant to purchase a wind turbine and photovoltaic array (Solar) to produce electrical energy for the business; Larry Sorensen based in Flandreau will use REAP grant to construct a geothermal heating and cooling system for the farm’s workshop; and Koeppe Seeds based in Claire City, SD will use a REAP grant to an old inefficient seed dryer with a new energy efficient dryer which will decrease energy usage by approximately 69%.

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 agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems, make energy-efficiency improvements, conduct  feasibility studies and energy audits, and provide renewable energy development assistance. 

These federal funds leverage other funding sources for businesses.  In all, USDA announced nearly $7.4 million in energy grants today.  This 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.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council, the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities. The Council is working to break down silos, find areas for better collaboration and improved flexibility in government programs, and work closely with local governments, non-profits and private companies to leverage federal support.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 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.