USDA Awards $35 Million for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

September 3, 2008

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on August 27 that 639 farms and rural businesses in 43 states and the Virgin Islands have been selected to receive $35 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. While many of the awards typically go towards more energy-efficient grain dryers, the USDA notes that a farm in Iowa will use its grant to replace a propane heating system with a geothermal heating system, while a firm in Louisiana will purchase energy-efficient electric motors for an irrigation well. The grants and loans are awarded through the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program of the USDA Rural Development office. The program was created by Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill and will be expanded next year under the 2008 Farm Bill. See the USDA press release, the full list of recipients (PDF 106 KB), the USDA Web page on Section 9006, and an article from the EERE Network News on the 2008 Farm Bill. Download Adobe Reader.