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Lake Andes Company REAPs USDA Energy Grant

FILE: Wind Farm, Wind Turbines, Windmill, Renewable Energy
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

(NPN) Pioneer Energy, LLC of Lake Andes, S.D. has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the USDA for a feasibility study to build a 99 megawatt wind farm.

Founded in 2009, Pioneer Energy is developing the Lake Andes Wind Facility near Lake Andes, South Dakota.

According to its website, Pioneer Energy’s proposed site anticipates using 33-36 large turbines. It is located approximately 2 miles northwest of the Fort Randall Dam.

The company was the only South Dakota grant recipient among awardees for projects in 22 states that will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs. As to the region, the USDA also awarded grants to entities in Minnesota and Iowa.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Wednesday.

Funding will also allow producers to use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects.

Grant and loan funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’ Brien made the announcement on behalf of the Secretary.

“REAP continues to help farmers and rural businesses reduce their energy consumption and by doing so, improve the bottom line of their operations,” O’Brien said. “This important Farm Bill program and others like it would not be available without a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.”

Under the terms of REAP, up to 25 percent of eligible project costs can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan guarantee. Since the start of the Obama administration, REAP has helped fund nearly 8,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.

REAP offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources. REAP also helps the conservation of natural resources and the development of new forms of energy that reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and creates a stronger rural economy.

Follow this link to view the complete list of recipients announced under the REAP program.

Wednesday’s REAP announcement helps support the June 2013 announcement of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines a comprehensive approach to reduce carbon pollution and better prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change. USDA continues helping rural America innovate to lead the world against modern climate challenges, and a summary of the USDA’s efforts are available at www.usda.gov/climatesolutions.

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