USDA to fund biomass projects
August 15, 2012, Des Moines, IA – The USDA announced funding for 106 projects, including biomass, to boost renewable energy production and reduce energy consumption.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 106 projects in 29 states, Guam and Puerto Rico have been selected for funding to produce renewable energy and make energy efficiency improvements. Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.
"The Obama Administration is helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners across the country reduce their energy costs and consumption," Vilsack said. "This is part of the President's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, which involves expanding support for traditional as well as alternative energy sources. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America."
According to the USDA, five biomass-related projects were selected for support during this round of funding. Recipients include:
– North Carolina-based RES Ag DM 4-3 LLC was awarded a $5 million loan guarantee to install a biomass system
– South Carolina-based J&R Farms LLC was awarded a $81,845 grant to install a biomass heating system, which will replace propane usage
– Vermont-based Vermont Woodchips Inc. was awarded a $50,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study
– Washington-based Port Angeles Hardwood LLC was awarded $8,371 to conduct a feasibility study of a woody biomass cogeneration system
– Wisconsin-based WTE-Dollmann LLC was awarded a $113,00 grant to support the development of an anaerobic digester
The WTE-Dallmann anaerobic digester that will generate more than 4.8 million kWh of electricity, enough to power 420 homes annually. The power will be sold to the local electric utility.
Anaerobic digester technology is a proven method of converting waste products, such as manure, into electricity. Anaerobic digesters are in concert with an agreement Secretary Vilsack signed with U.S. dairy producers in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009 to accelerate the adoption of innovative manure-to-energy projects on American dairy farms.