U S D A / Rural Development
Washington, D.C.  20250-0705

News Release2002 Farm Bill Logo (farm building encircled by stars and stripes)

Alisa Harrison, (202) 720-4623
Tim McNeilly, (202) 690-0498

USDA ANNOUNCES OVER $21 MILLION TO SUPPORT RURAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY EFFORTS

     DES MOINES, Iowa, August 25, 2003--The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the selection of 113 applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement grants in 24 states totaling $21,207,233, including over $1.2 million for nine recipients from Iowa. The grant program is part of the Bush Administration's overall effort to increase America's energy independence through the development of renewable energy resources as well as improving efficiency of existing systems.

     "America's rural businesses, farmers and ranchers are key to the development of renewable energy for our country," Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr said during a press conference here with Senator Charles Grassley. "The capital investments being made through these grants will support the conversion of our natural resources and residuals of farming operations into new sources of energy and help meet the energy goals outlined by President Bush in 2001."

     The 2002 Farm Bill authorized the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program. Applicants for the funding include agricultural producers or rural small businesses, U.S. citizens or legal residents and have demonstrated financial need. Rural Development grant funds can be used to pay up to 25 percent of the eligible project costs. Eligible projects include those that derive energy from a wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal source, or hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources. Awards were made on a competitive basis for the purchase of renewable energy systems and to make energy improvements.

     Funding to assist with the development of renewable energy systems included: 35 applications totaling $7.4 million to support wind power, 30 applications totaling $7 million for anaerobic digesters, 6 applications totaling $1.1 million solar and 16 applications totaling $3.9 million for a ethanol plants/anaerobic digesters, direct combustion and fuel pellet systems. Awards were made on a competitive basis for the purchase of renewable energy systems and to make energy improvements.

     The following is a complete list of approved project dollars by state:

California - $691,830Hawaii - $60,966Idaho - $1,010,000
Illinois - $2,186,596Iowa - $1,258,440Kansas - $29,075
Massachusetts - $970,000Michigan - $434,500Minnesota - $4,678,632
Mississippi - $231,503Missouri - $124,499Montana $37,000
Nebraska - $177,654New York - $2,878,027North Carolina - $130,000
North Dakota - $10,410Ohio - $2,043,612South Carolina - $15,000
South Dakota - $62,500Texas - $999,350Vermont - $79,001
Virginia - $500,000Washington - $883,028Wisconsin - $1,715,610

     A list of selected applicants can be found at the USDA Rural Development web site at:  www.rurdev.usda.gov.

     USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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