Applications for energy projects sought

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Funding is available from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.

“Renewable energy development presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America,” Vilsack said. “This funding will assist rural farmers, ranchers and business owners to build renewable energy projects, providing opportunities for new technologies, create green jobs and help America become more energy self-sufficient.”

For 2012, USDA has approximately $25.4 million budget authority available to fund REAP activities, which will support at least $12.5 million in grant and approximately $48.5 million in guaranteed loan program level awards. USDA is accepting the following applications:

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* Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until March 30.

* Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications on a continuous basis up to June 29.

* Renewable energy system feasibility study applications through March 30.

* Energy audits and renewable energy development assistance applications through Feb. 21.

More information on how to apply for funding is available in the January 20, 2012 Federal Register, pages 2948 through 2954, at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-20/pdf/2012-755.pdf. For more information please contact Beverly Stone, Renewable Energy Coordinator at 990-9168.

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