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Western Farmer Stockman

Loan to expand wind energy generation, create green jobs

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the approval of a $17.4 million loan to Greensburg Wind Farm, LLC, to provide financing for the 10 wind turbine project that will supply power to the community of Greensburg, Kan. This investment is consistent with the Obama administration's efforts to create new, green jobs in rural America and generate clean, renewable energy.

"This project will not only enhance our country's long-term energy security by producing clean, renewable energy, but also create green jobs and generate income in the local community," said Vilsack. "As the Obama Administration continues working to rebuild and revitalize rural America, Greensburg stands out as an example of the promise and potential in communities throughout the country."

The total project cost is estimated at $23.3 million. Approximately, $17.4 million will come in the form of a loan to Greensburg Wind Farm, LLC, a subsidiary of John Deere Renewables, with the remaining $5.8 million, or 25 percent of the total project cost, being provided through an equity investment by Deere & Company. The loan will support the 10 wind turbine project that will generate 12.5 MWs of electricity that will serve the electric needs of the City of Greensburg and other rural communities through the Kansas Power Pool.

"I am proud of the long standing commitment by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service toward working with community-based electric cooperatives to find new and more energy independent ways to power rural America," said Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager.

Funding of the loan is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the loan agreement.

Since a tornado devastated Greensburg in 2007, USDA Rural Development has provided an estimated $20 million in financing to help with the community rebuilding efforts. Funding includes nearly $5.9 million to support local housing, $10 million in community facility funding to support local hospital efforts, and $3.6 million in economic development assistance.

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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