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Rural businesses encouraged to apply for AD, biomass project funding in US

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed that there is over $400 million (€356.5 million) available in financing under a programme that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses in the US lower energy costs.

Encouraging farmers, rural small business and agricultural producers to apply for the financing, acting assistant to the secretary for rural development, Joel Baxley, said: “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses.

“USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is an important tool to help strengthen and grow the rural economy.”

Renewable energy systems such as anaerobic digesters and biomass, as well as geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar are eligible for REAP finding.

In Northern Carolina, for example, Optima KV recently received a $6.5 million (€5.79 million) loan guarantee for an anaerobic digester that will help hog producers dispose of waste by converting it to energy.

The project aggregates multiple biogas streams at a refinery, with the produced natural gas then transported via pipeline to a power plant.