Renewable energy loans and grants available
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants through USDA Rural Development to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency by agricultural pro...
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants through USDA Rural Development to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency by agricultural producers and small
"By promoting energy efficiency and development of energy sources that are farm based and renewable, we're taking another step toward achieving the president's goal of reducing America's gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years," Johanns said. "We hope to dramatically expand renewable energy programs like these, as reflected in our 2007 farm bill proposals."
The renewable energy and energy efficiency loan and grant program was established under Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill. Minnesota has received about $18 million in grants since the programs inception.
"This program has done a lot for renewable energy in Minnesota," said Steve Wenzel, Minnesota State Director of USDA Rural Development. "The Administration's Farm Bill Proposals call for a more than $1.6 billion increase in renewable energy funding. We look forward to investing a lot of these dollars in Minnesota's rural communities."
Loan guarantees cover up to 50 percent of a project's cost, not to exceed $10 million. Grants are available for up to 25 percent of a project's cost, not to exceed $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements and $500,000 for renewable energy systems.
These loans and grants are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 0.97 million metric tons, replace 821 million barrels of foreign oil and generate almost 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
Applications for grants must be completed and submitted to Lisa Noty by May 18. The deadline for loan applications and loan/grant combinations is July 2. Noty can be reached at (507) 373-7960, ext. 120. Her address is 1400 West Main St., Albert Lea, MN, 56007.
For more information visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn .