REAP funding announced for blender, flex-fuel pump projects

By Holly Jessen | June 27, 2012

Out of 430 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) awards announced by the USDA June 25, four were for blender pumps or flex fuel pumps. In all, projects in Florida, Georgia, Missouri and South Dakota received a total of $112,214 in funding out of more than $6.9 million distributed.

They are:

* ATJ Corp., $15,551, blender pump, Florida

* Down to Earth Retail #1/Rick Huszagh, $29,927, blender pump, Georgia

* Hometown Fuel Inc., $59,040, blender pumps, Missouri

* Martins Inc., $7,696, flex-fuel pump, South Dakota.

Funding for REAP was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. In 2011, the first year that blender pumps qualified for REAP grants, a total of 65 blender pump projects received funding to install 266 new blender pumps in 30 states.  Last year, the final round of fiscal year REAP awards were announced mid-December.

REAP grants are designed to help agricultural producers and small businesses from rural areas reduce energy consumption and costs as well as use renewable energy technologies, the USDA said. In addition, 20 projects were awarded a total of $412,304 for feasibility studies. Although none were ethanol related there were three biodiesel projects on the list. The remainder of the projects were wind, geothermal, hydropower, solar, biomass or anaerobic digester-related. For more information, see the complete list of grant recipients. 

"The Obama Administration and USDA are helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners reduce their energy costs and consumption—and by doing so is helping to create jobs, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strengthen the bottom line for businesses." said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a prepared statement. "This is part of the Administration's ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America."