What started with the 2008 Farm Bill has grown into a program that has funded more than 6,160 projects in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. Today, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA has selected for funding 450 projects nationwide. He made the announcement during a tour of North Carolina, a state that will get 31 of these newest projects.
Vilsack says spending of in this latest round of projects will total $7.4 million and says the Rural Energy for America Program will "encourage renewable and energy efficiency projects," he notes. In summing up the program so far, Vilsack detailed a wide range of programs this effort has supported including the production of 8.8 million megawatts of power through $364 million in grants and loans along with $830 million in money from the private sector.
The announcement came as Vilsack was touring the Mitrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, N.C., which has received a REAP guaranteed loan and three grants totaling more than $1 million since 2007. In 2009, the greenhouses received a grant to build a wood boiler heating system to replace the natural gas and fuel used in the 120-acre facility. "This facility will use a substantial amount of wood chips and scrap wood from a 140-mile radius that will help the state's timber industry as well," Vilsack says.
He didn't miss a chance to note that programs like REAP are important, and that it was "important for the House to get to work on the passage of the Ag Reform Food and Jobs bill passed by the senate. I understand the House may have different views, but they should not delay and get the job done and done this summer ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline."
You can check out the complete listing of REAP grant recipients announced today, just visit REAP grants for more information.