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Published March 08, 2012, 06:54 AM

Johnson reminds South Dakotans to apply for rural energy funding

U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., this week reminded South Dakota farmers, ranchers and businesses about the availability of federal grants and loan guarantees that help cut their energy costs.

U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., this week reminded South Dakota farmers, ranchers and businesses about the availability of federal grants and loan guarantees that help cut their energy costs.

The funding, available under the USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), can be used for a variety of energy efficiency projects.

According to USDA Rural Development, REAP funding is often used to install energy-efficient grain drying systems and other projects such as lighting, insulation or purchase of more energy-efficient replacement equipment. Other projects include installing ventilation systems, pumps, coolers, or heating and cooling systems. Some use the funding to generate their own energy through solar panels, wind turbines, biogas or biofuels.

Authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, REAP is designed to assist ranchers, farmers and rural small businesses. All projects must be located in rural areas.

USDA Rural Development has supplied the following REAP descriptions and upcoming deadlines:

• Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications: March 30.

• Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications: on a continuous basis up to June 29.

• Renewable energy system feasibility study applications: March 30.

For more information about REAP funding, individuals should contact the USDA Rural Development field office in Pierre at 605-224-8870 Ext. 4 or visit USDA Rural Development’s website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/sd /.

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