Nebraska Winners Selected... US Department of Agriculture Renewable Energy Grants Nebraskans faired somewhat better this year in securing grants from the US Department of Agriculture’s Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation grants program. According to USDA, 14 projects totaling $181,949 in Nebraska were selected. Last year, 7 projects totaling $177, 652 were funded. The renewable energy and energy conservation grants — also known as Section 9006 grants — provide funding to help farmers, ranchers and small rural businesses develop projects — such as wind, biomass and solar energy — and make energy efficiency improvements in their operations. The program provides a maximum of 25 percent funding for a single project. Solid Fuel Burners for Alfalfa Drying Nebraska Projects Selected for Funding Biomass/Bioenergy

Building Efficiency

High Efficiency Display Case This project will add new lighting, energy efficient refrigerated display cases and doors, walk-in freezers and insulation for the grocery store. These energy saving modifications will produce annual savings of an estimated 48.5 percent and pay for the improvements in less than five years.
  • Shamrock Nursery, O’Neill $6,599 This grant will assist the nursery with reglazing, adding insulation, installing side vents and replacing an old furnace with high efficiency model. The improvements will realize energy savings of 45 percent annually and will pay for the improvements in about eight years.
  • Orthman Manufacturing, Lexington $24,425 This grant will add 633 energy-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs at Orthman’s production facility, replacing existing high-wattage ones. The project will reduce annual consumption by 418,981 kilowatthours.
  • Jurgensen Enterprises, Burwell $3,400 This grant will assist in the replacement of freezer doors and compressors with new freezer doors and a high efficiency air-cooled compressor at Mr. J’s grocery store. The project will yield an estimated 62 percent in energy savings and pay for itself in about eight years.
  • Tiemersma Dairy, Jansen $2,800
  • High Efficiency Furnaces This grant will help replace cooling and ventilation fans in a free-stall dairy facility with new energy efficient fans. The project will yield 27 percent energy savings annually and the cost of the project will be paid for in about 8 years.
  • Cal’s Boot & Shoe Service, Ogallala $2,500 This grant will help in replacing a heating and cooling system with a new energy efficient system. The new system will pay for itself in a little more than eight years.
  • Industrial Efficiency

    Burried Drip Irrigation System about $29,439 a year.
  • Dennis Brown Farms, Waco $10,900 This grant will help convert a gravity irrigation system using an inefficient natural gas powered unit to a low pressure pivot system using a high efficient diesel engine. The project will reduce energy use by 31 percent and pay for itself in a little more than eight years.
  • Marvin C. Weber Farms, York $9,500 This grant will assist in replacing four propane powered irrigation well engines with new diesel engines. The project will generate an estimated 35 percent in energy savings annually.
  • Hybrid

    TOTAL $181,949 No Nebraska projects were selected in the anaerobic digester, geothermal, solar, or small and large wind areas. National Overview Applications for U.S. Department of Agriculture's renewable energy and energy conservation grants program surged in its second year. USDA received about $36.6 million in grant applications for the $23 million available in 2004.

    USDA officials said they received 237 applications by July 19th totaling $36.6 million in funding requests, a 30 percent from last year. In 2003, USDA received 148 applications, and selected 114 totaling $21.2 million in grants. According to USDA, the grant applications for this year totaled:

    The bulk of the grants awarded for 2003, $19.4 million, went toward the development of renewable energy systems. Wind power projects received $7.4 million; $7 million went toward anaerobic digesters; $1.1 million funded six solar projects; and $3.9 million went toward projects that used farm products to create ethanol or other fuels.

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