Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the availability of $22.8 million to support investments in renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and rural small businesses.



Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill established the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements loan and grant program to encourage agricultural producers and small rural businesses to create renewable and energy efficient systems. The funds currently announced will be available to support a wide range of technologies encompassing biomass (including anaerobic digesters), geothermal, hydrogen, solar, and wind energy, as well as energy efficiency improvements. To date, the Bush Administration has invested through this program nearly $45 million in 32 states.



The $22.8 million announced today will be made available in two stages. One-half, $11.4 million, is available immediately for competitive grants. The remaining $11.4 million announced today, will be set aside through August 31, 2005 for renewable energy and energy efficiency guaranteed loans. Final details on how to apply for these funds will be published in the Federal Register later this year.



Source: Government Release