The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing more than $13 million in loans and grants for 233 renewable energy projects in 38 states under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The loan guarantees and grants will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses to conduct energy audits and feasibility studies for renewable energy systems, for renewable energy development assistance, and to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.
“Rural businesses are the lifeblood of rural communities and their financial health is vital as we work to create jobs and expand entrepreneurship throughout the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The funding will help lay the foundation for economic growth in many communities, consistent with the Obama Administration's vision of rebuilding and revitalizing rural America.”
An example of a project, Milford Wind Energy, LLC, Story City, Iowa, has been selected to receive a $1.8 million guaranteed loan and a $500,000 grant to build a 900 kilowatt wind turbine for energy generation. When complete, the turbine is expected to produce nearly 3.3 million kilowatts of electricity annually and generate more than $200,000 in electricity that will be sold to the local utility company. Construction of the turbine is expected to be completed next year.
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