Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Agriculture

U.S. Farmers Benefit from Federal Clean Energy Loans and Grants

USDA distributes federal loans and grants for renewable energy and efficiency upgradesWhile some members of Congress seem to think that spending federal dollars on local projects is a bad thing, hundreds of farmers and rural business owners are eagerly taking the opportunity to improve their operations through federal clean energy loans and grants totalling more than $30 million. The funds, administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will pay for 516 projects that install renewable energy equipment and improve energy efficiency at agricultural operations.

USDA and Rural Renewable Energy

The USDA has already been making waves through its AgStar program, which promotes the installation of biogas equipment at livestock farms. The new round of loans and grants is coming through the agency’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP – clever, right?). REAP expands the renewable energy field in agriculture to include a large number of solar installations, along with wind turbines, biomass and even geothermal. The projects also include a large number of equipment upgrades to improve energy efficiency, convert old diesel equipment to electric and install new lighting.

Grain Dryers – Who Knew?

One big item in the list of 516 projects turns out to be the replacement of old grain dryers with more energy efficient equipment. If you’re a city person like me you probably never though much about grain dryers, but apparently they can take quite a big chunk out of a farm’s utility bills. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, grain dryers are used primarily for shelled corn that is stored on site. In the past, natural gas and other fossil fuels were used for hot-air drying, but more modern equipment relies on ambient air temperature. NSAIS also notes that solar technology may be a good alternative for grain drying at small and medium sized farms.

Image: Wind turbines on a farm by bobistraveling on flickr.com.

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

You May Also Like

Agriculture

Just one electric, intelligent tractor can do more good than a dozen electric cars.

Agriculture

The most thrilling conversation about a nationwide tractor dealer network rollout you'll hear today!

Agriculture

If Guinness really is good for you, a new pilot project involving regenerative agriculture on 40 barley farms in Ireland could make it even...

Clean Power

Solar panels are sprouting up in farms and rural communities all over the countryside, winning hearts and minds, if not votes.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.