WASHINGTON, Sept., 9, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of a biorefinery producer to receive payments under a program to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement for fossil fuels that provide process heat or power for biorefineries.
"The award that USDA is announcing today marks a step toward reducing fossil fuel consumption." Vilsack said. "The Repowering Assistance Program, along with the other renewable energy provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill, promote the creation of green jobs, combat climate change and provide economic opportunities to rural workers and rural businesses."
Lincolnway Energy, LLC, based in Nevada, Iowa, has been selected to receive a $1.9 million payment award. The company produces 55 to 60 million gallons per year of fuel-grade ethanol. The USDA payment will reimburse the firm for costs to modify a boiler to burn wood and other biomass.
USDA's Repowering Assistance Program was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill and allows USDA to make payments to eligible biorefineries to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of these eligible biorefineries. Biorefineries that were in existence when the Bill was enacted, June 18, 2008, are eligible to apply. For more information, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_RepoweringAssistance.html.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located the nation's capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.