Renewable energy program receives USDA funding

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Feb. 3 said the USDA has made $25 million available for fiscal year 2012 to encourage the use of renewable biomass.

The Repowering Assistance Program provides approximately $25 million in funding to biorefineries that have been in existence on or before June 18, 2008. USDA said the purpose of the program is to provide a financial incentive to biorefineries to use renewable biomass in place of fossil fuels used to produce heat or power. By providing this assistance, USDA said it is helping these facilities install new systems that use renewable biomass.

The amount of the payment will be based on the cost effectiveness of the renewable biomass system; and the percentage reduction in fossil fuels used by that biorefinery. The maximum amount an individual biorefinery can receive under the Notice is 50 percent of total eligible project costs up to a maximum of $10 million.

Eligible costs must be related to construction or repowering improvements, such as engineering design, equipment installation and professional fees. The application deadline for this program to receive funds for Fiscal Year 2012 is June 1, 2012.

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