The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to support renewable energy projects for U.S. farms and rural businesses. The aim is for the money to be spent on wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric projects that will help rural small businesses reduce their energy costs.
The funding comes through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The grants are meant to finance up to 25 percent of the cost for projects, with a cap of $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements.
Coon Valley Turkeys, based in Lake View, Iowa received a $50,000 wind grant to install a wind turbine on its property. The installation will offset the turkey farmer’s cost of electricity. Hawkeye Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Cresco, Iowa, also received $50,000. The money will be used to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in its headquarters building.
“The Obama Administration is assisting small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, as they work to reduce their energy costs,” Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Doug O’Brien said in a statement. “When energy costs are reduced, American rural businesses become more competitive, allowing them to expand and create jobs.”
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