Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
"This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities," Vilsack said. "Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports home-grown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation."
Fifteen Nebraska projects have been selected for funding. The projected energy savings from these projects is equivalent to the amount required to power 219 homes.
Gustman, Michael O. – Plainview - $14,985 – Replaced two diesel irrigation motors with more efficient electric motors.
Nielsen, Timothy S. – Creighton - $12,791 – Replaced two diesel irrigation motors with electric motors.
Frei, Jerome – Potter - $9,214 – Replaced existing electric irrigation motor with more efficient electric motor, replaced nozzles, and to re-bowl well.
Gateway Motors, Inc. – Broken Bow - $9,622 – Replaced existing lighting and added insulation.
Richeson, Inc. – Gothenburg - $10,815 – Replaced existing inefficient lighting in three locations and installed one geothermal heat pump.
Neumann Brothers – Chappell - $16,119 – Converted a gated pipe irrigation system to a center pivot system.
Smith, Brian – Orchard - $11,102 – Replaced three diesel irrigation motors with electric motors.
Nicholas, Dennis – Hershey - $18,626 – Replaced three diesel irrigation motors with three electric motors and underground wiring.
Nicholas, James D. – Hershey - $6,368 – Replaced diesel irrigation motor with an electric motor and underground wiring.
Ideal Enterprises, Inc. – Superior - $9,786 – Replaced existing meat cases with a new, more efficient 14 door meat case.
Burge Farms Partnership – Grant - $10,023 – Replaced two diesel irrigation motors with more efficient electric motors.
Janssen-Kool Motor Co., LLC – McCook - $3,952 – Replaced existing lighting with new, more efficient lighting.
Lindner Painting, Inc. – Seward - $5,750 – Installed a six kW solar panel system.
Bauer Elevator, Inc. – Randolph - $12,487 – Replaced existing inefficient grain dryer with a new, more efficient model.
Llark, Inc. – Henderson - $7,015 – Installed three 60 HP variable frequency drives on existing irrigation motors.
Funding for the projects is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant or loan agreement.
Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen, and geothermal.
The next application deadline for REAP grants is November 2, 2015. USDA will issue a notice of available funding with more details on how to apply in the coming weeks. REAP was created by the 2008 Farm Bill and was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA has supported more than 9,600 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide through REAP. During this period, the Department has provided more than $291 million in grants and $327 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.