ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct 19, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer announced today that 46 small businesses, rural cooperatives and farmers in Minnesota have been selected to receive over $1.6 million in grants to reduce energy consumption and costs, and use renewable energy technologies in their operations. The funding comes from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“This is part of President Obama’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy,” Landkamer said. “These investments create a more stable energy environment and help rural small businesses and producers become more sustainable and create jobs.”
REAP offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. Examples of projects include wind turbines, geothermal heating and cooling, grain dryers and solar power. Of the 46 Minnesota projects, 21 are for wind turbines, 18 are for grain dryers, three are for geothermal projects, one is for solar and one is for general energy efficiency improvements.
The Minnesota projects were part of 244 projects announced nationwide. For a complete list of projects, click here.
Since 2009, the REAP program has invested over $15 million to help more than 580 rural businesses, co-ops and farmers reduce energy consumption, cut energy costs and use renewable energy technologies throughout Minnesota. You can learn more about the REAP program here.
Through all of its programs since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested over $3.5 billion throughout Minnesota. In addition to renewable energy, Rural Development finances infrastructure, community facilities, housing, businesses and high-speed Internet in rural areas.
To learn more, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn, or contact an office in your area.