USDA Rural Development Announces $18.2 Million for Renewable Energy Projects

Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr today announced that 345 proposals in 37 states have been selected to receive a total of $18.2 million for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

9006 Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program. It provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy generation systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

In Orangeville, Ill., for example, USDA Rural Development selected James Briggs for a $12,375 grant to help him replace a 20-year-old grain dryer with a new continuous flow dryer that is expected to reduce annual energy costs by 53 percent.

Healy Biodiesel, Inc., Sedgwick, Kan., was selected to receive a $32,375 grant to purchase and install biodiesel processors and equipment to create a biodiesel facility that is expected to produce an estimated 150,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel per year.

The S&D Farm Wind Turbine Project, Lisbon, Conn., was selected to receive a $49,751 grant to purchase and install a 50-kilowatt wind turbine to produce electricity and save energy costs. The project is expected to save an estimated $12,740 in annual energy costs.

A complete list of the selected recipients is available here.

In related Federal Energy news, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the creation of a new Energy Innovations Sector in recognition of the importance of demand response, renewable energy, global warming and advanced technologies in the development of energy markets.

Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff said the new unit provides a welcome addition and needed complement to the Commission’s staff.

Commissioner Suedeen Kelly noted that demand resources and renewable energy can play a role in the Commission’s reliability, open access and wholesale market design policies.

“The energy sector is poised to advance more innovations that will affect the Commission’s regulatory jurisdiction, and Congress is working to advance these issues in its energy policy initiatives as a way to lower consumer costs, mitigate pollution and improve competition,” Kelly said. “The time is right for the Commission to take this step in demonstrating its commitment to these important issues.”



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