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USDA Offers $19 Million for Businesses, Emphasizing Renewables

January 18, 2006

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on January 9th that it will provide more than $19 million in grants to support renewable energy projects and the development of value-added agricultural business ventures. Under this year's program, the amount that can be awarded to a producer in the form of a working capital grant has been doubled to $300,000, and $1.5 million is also being allocated to provide grants of $25,000 or less to eligible producers. Priority consideration will be given to those applicants who dedicate at least 51 percent of project costs to a biomass energy project. To date, the program has provided $20.5 million to develop and market renewable energy projects in 29 states, including wind and biomass energy projects and projects to produce biodiesel or ethanol. Applications are due on March 31st. See the USDA press release and the USDA Rural Development Web site.