Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking applications to increase the production and use of renewable energy sources. Funding is available from four USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
“This funding will help spur investments in technologies that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, conserve natural resources and help build a sustained renewable energy industry in rural America,” Vilsack said.
USDA is accepting applications for grants and loan guarantees in the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) until June 30. Information on how to apply for funding is available in the April 26, 2010 Federal Register.
Eligible projects include installing renewable energy systems such as wind turbines, solar, geothermal, biomass, anaerobic digesters, hydroelectric, and ocean or hydrogen systems. Funding may also be used to purchase energy-efficient equipment, add insulation, and improve heating and cooling systems.
In addition to the REAP program, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is also planning to accept applications for three other renewable energy programs: the Biorefinery Assistance Program, Repowering Assistance Program and the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels.
For more information on USDA Rural Development programs visit USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi.