The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications from agricultural producers and rural small businesses for loans and grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.
USDA is providing funding for up to $61 million in guaranteed loans and $42 million in grants through the Rural Energy for America Program. REAP funds are available to develop renewable energy systems, improve energy efficiency and conduct studies to determine the feasibility of renewable energy systems.
Under REAP, renewable energy systems include flexible fuel pumps, sometimes referred to as "blender pumps," as an incentive for fuel station owners to offer options for owners of flex-fuel vehicles. The Obama administration has set a goal of installing 10,000 flexible fuel pumps nationwide within five years.
"These resources will help decrease our dependence on overseas oil and help agricultural producers and rural small businesses save on their fuel and electricity costs," said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, in announcing the program. "I encourage eligible Colorado producers and small business to take advantage of this program to develop renewable energy systems or implement energy efficiency measures."
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