August 16, 2012
On August 14, USDA announced the award of nearly $8.7 million in FY2012 funding for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) loans and grants for 106 renewable energy system and energy efficiency projects on farms and rural businesses in 29 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The funding also included an award of $59,365 to Washington State University to conduct five energy audits.
The funding for loan guarantees totals $6.5 million, with $5 million of that funding awarded to a single project – a biodigester that will operate on a hog farm owned by Murphy Family Ventures, LLC. Loan guarantees were awarded to two wind turbine projects in Iowa and two solar projects in Puerto Rico.
A total of $2.2 million in grants was awarded to 103 projects, with the largest award going to a Wisconsin dairy, WTE-Dallman, for an anaerobic digester. Twenty-two of the grant awards will fund the replacement of diesel or natural gas irrigation engines by electric motors with variable frequency drive that reduce energy use and increase efficient use of water. Eighteen of those grants were provided to farmers and ranchers in Kansas. The highest number of grant awards, twenty-seven, went to solar power projects.