United States Department
of Agriculture Rural Development
Contact: Alec Lloyd
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Investments to Study Renewable Energy Feasibility in Rural Communities
WASHINGTON, Jan., 20, 2011 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced
that USDA Rural Development has selected for funding 68 study grants nationwide
to determine the feasibility of renewable energy projects. The grants cover all
five regions identified by the Secretary in his October speech to the National
Press Club. The regions include the Northeast, Central/East, Southeast
(including Hawaii), West and Pacific Northwest (including Alaska). In all,
studies will be funded in 27 states and the Western Pacific. Funding is made
available through the Rural Energy for America Program under the 2008 Farm Bill.
"The Obama Administration is committed to helping our nation become more energy independent by helping rural businesses build renewable energy systems," said Vilsack. "The projects announced today will provide rural small businesses and agricultural producers the opportunity to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy system installations. These investments will not only help our farmers and small businesses reduce energy costs, but also help find renewable alternatives to generate energy.
REAP loan guarantees and grants can be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. More information on the REAP program, which was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, is at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_ReapGrants.html.
Michigans recipients are:
· Balance 4 Earth LLC (Farmington Hills, Oakland County): 75 megawatt wind farm located in Emmet County, $30,496,
· Riedstra Dairy LTD (Mendon, St. Joseph County): Anaerobic digester, $10,000,
· River Ridge Dairy (Coopersville, Ottawa County): Anaerobic digester, $10,000,
· Beaver Creek Dairy (Coopersville, Ottawa County): Anaerobic digester, $10,000,
· Siegler Dairy (Imlay City, Lapeer County): Anaerobic digester, also studying replacing propane with methane and using carbon dioxide for algae growth, $9,000,
· Sackett Potatoes (Mecosta, Mecosta County): 110 kilowatt solar array, $8,750.
Funding of each recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant. For a complete list of award recipients, please click here.
Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and 500 state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of nearly $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
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