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Agriculture Today

Funding available for renewable energy projects

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June 8, 2011 | 3,150 views | Post a comment

TEMPLE -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack invites agricultural producers and rural small businesses to apply for loans and grants to implement renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements, according to an April 15 press release.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing funding for up to $61 million in guaranteed loans and $42 million in grants through the Rural Energy for America Program. Funds are available to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses develop renewable energy systems, including assistance to fuel station owners to install flexible fuel pumps that will offer Americans more renewable energy options. In addition, funding is available for energy efficiency improvements and studies to determine the feasibility of renewable energy systems.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a rule to clarify that the definition of renewable energy systems in Rural Energy for America Program includes flexible fuel pumps, sometimes referred to as “blender pumps.” This clarification is intended to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install flexible fuel pumps that will offer Americans more renewable energy options. The Obama administration has set a goal of installing 10,000 flexible fuel pumps nationwide within five years.

Under this program, local businesses receive assistance to deploy wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy.

The deadline for submitting completed Rural Energy for America Program applications for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement programs is Wednesday, June 15. For renewable energy feasibility studies, energy audits, and renewable energy development assistance grants, the deadline to apply is Thursday, June 30.

For information, contact the Agriculture Department’s Rural Development Texas State office at 254-742-9780.

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