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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Renewable Energy Feasibility Awards

Monday, March 7th, 2011

(March, 2011) USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced grants were awarded to 68 American farmers and rural small businesses to conduct renewable energy feasibility studies under REAP – the Rural Energy for America Program.

“The Obama Administration is committed to helping our nation become more energy independent by helping rural businesses build renewable energy systems,” said Secretary Vilsack. The grants provide assistance for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy system installations.

Feasibility studies help farmers and rural small businesses identify ways to cut energy costs and get new clean energy projects in the pipeline. The REAP Feasibility Studies Program pays up to 25% of the costs of the study.

The 68 feasibility study grants totaled $1.6 million and fund studies in 27 states and territories. A number of larger-scale geothermal power projects in the American West were funded, including one for 500 kw and one for 10 MW. Direct geothermal electric technologies have long planning times, where this support makes a big difference. Ohio had the largest number of awards – 10 – for digesters, solar and wind.

Table 1: Breakdown, by state, of the number of projects and the total amount of funding for those projects


Grant Totals


Alaska $50,000 1
California $32,750 2
Colorado $1,500 1
Georgia $21,875 1
Hawaii $10,000 1
Idaho $73,624 4
Indiana $30,257 3
Iowa $110,936 5
Kentucky $20,000 1
Michigan $78,246 6
Minnesota $50,000 1
Missouri $112,875 4
Montana $45,250 1
Nebraska $78,502 3
New Jersey $97,500 2
New Mexico $8,978 1
New York $49,500 2
North Carolina $49,625 1
Ohio $128,750 10
Oklahoma $50,000 1
Oregon $164,787 6
South Carolina $10,000 1
Tennessee $25,000 1
Texas $163,203 4
Utah $40,000 1
Washington $69,650 2
Western Pacific $21,931 1
Wisconsin $21,500 1

Click on charts to zoom.

Breakdown of 2010 REAP Feasibility Study Funding, by Technology

Breakdown of 2010 REAP Feasibility Study Funding, by Technology

Number of 2010 REAP Feasibility Study Awards, by Technology

Number of 2010 REAP Feasibility Study Awards, by Technology

Wisconsin Dairy Farms Digest Waste, Produce Clean Energy

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

A recent review of the operating record of manure digester projects by the Focus on Energy program and published in BioCycle magazine provides hard operational data on manure digesters in Wisconsin.  The review highlights the range of systems in use and provides information on Wisconsin’s renewable biogas capacity. (more…)

ELPC’s Andy Olsen Discusses REAP on Montana Radio

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

ELPC Senior Policy Advocate Andy Olsen visited Billings, Montana in January 2009 to participate in Harvesting Clean Energy’s 2009 Conference. While there, he sat down with Kristi Pettis from the Northern Ag Broadcasting Network to discuss the new Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) (requires Windows Media Player, QuickTime or other media player).  Andy emphasized the opportunities for both smaller producers and businesses and larger operations to use REAP’s grants and loan guarantees.