DC, March 28, 2005 (ENS): Agriculture Secretary
Mike Johanns today announced the availability of $22.8
million to support investments in renewable energy systems
and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers
and rural small businesses.
Johanns said, "Renewable energy is an exciting
growth frontier for American agriculture." He said
renewables strengthen national security and the rural
The funds announced today will be available to support
technologies that include biomass, geothermal, hydrogen,
solar, and wind energy, as well as energy efficiency
Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill established the
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements
loan and grant program to encourage agricultural producers
and small rural businesses to create renewable and energy
efficient systems. To date, the Bush administration
has invested through this program nearly $45 million
in 32 states.
The $22.8 million announced today will be made available
in two stages. One-half, $11.4 million, is available
immediately for competitive grants. Renewable energy
grant applications must be for a minimum of $2,500 and
a maximum of $500,000.
Energy efficiency grant applications may range from
$2,500 to $250,000. The grant request may not exceed
25 percent of the eligible project cost.
Applications must be submitted to the appropriate Rural
Development State Office postmarked no later than June
13, 2005. Detailed information about application and
program requirements will be included in today's issue
of the Federal Register.
The remaining $11.4 million announced today will be
set aside through August 31, 2005 for renewable energy
and energy efficiency guaranteed loans. Final details
on how to apply for these funds will be published in
the Federal Register later this year.