Agriculture Dept. dispenses funds for energy projects

providing grant funds for 264 renewable energy projects. The projects will be funded through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and $63 million has been allocated for them. “This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Investing in renewable energy and energy-efficient projects supports home-grown energy sources, creates jobs … and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.” Once allocated, funds can be used to make energy-efficient improvements to farms and small, rural businesses. These improvements include projects related to solar power, wind power, and hydroelectric and geothermal systems, including the installation of solar panels, wind turbines and other similar projects. The Department of Agriculture has provided more than $291 million in funding — and more than $327 million in loans — for more than 9,600 energy-related projects since the REAP program was founded in 2008. Funding primarily goes to rural business owners and agriculture producers.]]>

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