USDA accepting applications for two programs established in 2008 Farm Bill

By Erin Voegele | June 03, 2009
Report posted June 26, 2009, at 1:15 p.m. CST

On June 12, the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service published two notices in the Federal Register announcing that funding will be made available for two programs established under Title IX of the 2008 Farm Bill.

One of these programs, the Repowering Assistance Program, is designed to provide payments to biorefineries that replace fossil fuel-derived heat and power with renewable biomass heat and power systems. The bill provides a total of $35 million in funding for fiscal year 2009, and authorized $15 million of that funding for fiscal years 2009 through 2012. In order to qualify, a biorefinery must have been in existence at the time the 2008 Farm Bill was passed.

Applications for the Repowering Assistance Program are being accepted between July 1 and November 1. "There is a window of opportunity for biorefinery entities that have an interest in retooling to bring on a biomass energy source versus a fossil fuel energy source to make application," said Bill Hagy, deputy administrator of business programs rural development with the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service. The program is competitive. Procedures and criteria for applying are detailed in the notice of funding that was published in the Federal Register.

The second notice published in the Federal Register announced the intent of the USDA to enter into contracts to make payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers to support and ensure an expanding production of Advanced Biofuels. According to the notice, in order to participate in the program during fiscal year 2009, applications must be received between June 12 and August 11. "What's unique about this program is there is no competition for entities that apply that are determined to be eligible," Hagy said. "Any entity that applies that is determined to be eligible that is producing an advanced biofuel and that meets the other criteria of the notice of contract proposal will get a portion of the $30 million that is available. That will be divided up among the eligible applicants based on their amount of production."

For more information on programs established under Title IX of the 2008 Farm Bill, please see the USDA website.