January 21, 2011
On January 20, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced the award of USDA funding for bioenergy provided in the 2008 Farm Bill’s Energy Title. The funding includes the award of 68 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants to determine the feasibility of renewable energy projects in 27 states. About half the funding goes for feasibility studies for anaerobic digester projects and wind projects. The remainder is split among solar power, biomass and ethanol projects. One of projects is a proposal to connect 20 dairies in Cayuga County, New York to a collector pipeline that will deliver farm-produced biogas to produce renewable heat and power for sale to business customers. A complete list of the projects is here.
Secretary Vilsack also announced the award of $405 million to three ethanol and advanced biofuels production facilities under the Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program. He noted that USDA will soon issue new rules for the Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program, the Section 9004 Repowering Assistance Program, and the Section 9005 Bioenergy Program for Payments To Advanced Biofuel Producers.
In addition, the Secretary stated during the briefing that the USDA is looking at whether any of the Energy Title programs could be used to fund gas station fuel pumps for gas blended with ethanol. The ethanol industry contends that the lack of these pumps is a barrier to increasing the use of gasoline blended with ethanol in the U.S.
Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment