USDA announces REAP funding for bioenergy projects

By Erin Voegele | September 22, 2014

On Sept. 18, the USDA announced it is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects under the Rural Energy for America Program. Bioenergy projects were among those selected to receive funding.

"These loan guarantees and grants will have far-reaching impacts nationwide, particularly in the rural communities where these projects are located," said Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency will continue the unprecedented increase in home-grown energy sources and American energy independence we've seen in recent years. This is creating jobs, providing new economic opportunities and leading the way to a more secure energy future."

REAP was created by the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. Under the program, eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses can REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including renewable biomass, anaerobic digestion, solar, wind, small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen, and geothermal. Since the start of the Obama administration, REAP has supported more than 8,800 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. During this period, the USDA has provided more than $276 million in grants and $268 million in loan guarantees to agriculture producers and rural small business owners.

Biomass projects selected to receive funding include:

New Caribou Joint Venture DBA Caribou LO: $12,500 grant for cord wood
Superior Pellet Fuels LLC: $49,607 grant for condensed wood logs
John Galt Biogas LLC: $290,000 grant for an anaerobic digester
William E. Segebartt: $11,800 grant for biomass
Cook Forest Products Inc.: $85,473 grant for microchips from wood grinding
Thumb Bioenergy LLC: $84,921 grant for grain dryer
Judson M. Wilson: $29,485 grant for bioenergy biomass/wood/hay
Clinton Duane Blankenship: $19,834 grant for biomass wood waste
Bobbie Jo Meek: $49,442 grant for biomass heat for poultry houses
Anthony G. Mitchell: $23,761 grant for wood pellets
Christopher John Narron: $28,217 grant for wood heat for poultry barns
Delta Hardwood: $31,250 grant for biomass boiler
Magnale LLC: $11,250 grant for wood-fired boiler
Mark A. Bergeron: $41,500 grant for biomass-heated kiln
Joneslan Farm LLC: $40,000 grant for enhancement to anaerobic digester heating system

A full list of awards is available on the USDA Rural Development website.