Renewable energy and efficiency improvement loans and grants available from USDA
ST. PAUL, Minn. (6/15/2009) — USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for grants and loan guarantees for farmers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements, or conduct feasibility studies. The funds are administered through Rural Development’s Rural Energy for American Program.
The deadline for applications is July 31, 2009, and can be sent to Lisa Noty, USDA Rural Development, 1400 West Main St., Albert Lea, MN 56007. Electronic applications may be submitted at http://www.grants.gov/.
Loan guarantees and grants are available to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. The maximum grant for renewable energy systems is 25 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $500,000. Energy efficiency improvement projects are eligible for up to 25 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $250,000. The maximum loan guarantee is 75 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $25 million. Combination loan guarantees and grants are also available. Feasibility studies now also qualify for grants under the Rural Energy for America Program.
Minnesota farmers and rural small businesses have been awarded almost $28 million since the Rural Energy for America Program was created in 2003. Examples of projects include large and small wind turbines, solar, biomass, grain dryers, geothermal systems, energy efficient refrigerators or freezers, energy efficient projects, and methane digesters.
USDA Rural Development finance housing, infrastructure and economic development projects in rural areas. Since 2001, it has invested over $4 billion throughout rural Minnesota. If constituents have questions, they should contact Lisa Noty at (507) 373-7960, ext. 120, or email@example.com. The Rural Development website is also a good resource: www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn/RBS/Section%209006%20Renewable%20Energy%20Program.htm