U.S.D.A. offering loans/grants for energy projects

by Josh Sosland
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WASHIGNTON — Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer on July 22 announced $6.9 million in loans and grants for renewable energy systems or to increase energy efficiency in farm and business operations.

The funds, offered to 27 individuals and businesses in seven states, are being provided under the Department’s Rural Development’s Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program.

"The Bush administration is committed to providing more energy from within our nation’s borders, and these loan and grain combinations announced today will help accomplish this important goal.

The Department cited Bach Digester L.L.C. in Dorchester, Wis., as an example of how the funds will be used. Bach will receive $800,000 in loans and grants to build an anaerobic digester on a dairy farm. Gas from the digester will power a 250 kilowatt generator on site.

The grants/loan ranged in size from $8,486 to $1,322,025.

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