March 09, 2005

Craig, Crapo Announce Renewable Energy Grants For Idaho

Three Idaho farms receive grants totaling $1.010 million

WASHINGTON, DC - Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo announced today that three farmers in Idaho will be receiving U.S. Department of Agriculture grants totaling $1.010 million for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement. The grant program is part of the Bush Administrationâ??s overall effort to increase Americaâ??s energy independence through the development of renewable energy resources as well as improving efficiency of existing systems.â??These three projects will be greatly enhanced by the grants announced today and I am very proud of the forward thinking efforts these gentleman have undertaken to expand the role of renewable energy in our state,â?? Senator Craig said. â??Wind power generation needs to play an ever expanding role in our national energy policy, and the exciting new technology being employed in the use of anaerobic digesters can go far both in producing energy and in improving air quality. I look forward to monitoring the success of these projects in our great state.â??"Idahoâ??s role in renewable energy can and should be expanded, and these grants will help provide a more diverse energy base for our state and the nation," Senator Crapo said. â??I have worked with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that renewable energy is part of our developing national energy policy, and I am pleased that Idaho has three projects that will develop wind and anaerobic digester energy resources. This support is an important step forward in demonstrating the viability of digester technology and wind energy. Additionally, these projects provide additional income for rural economies and are environmentally friendly. We need to continue to push for such development to ensure our country's energy supply remains plentiful and secure.â??John Beuker's Dairy #2 in Jerome, ID, will be receiving a grant in the amount of $500,000 to help with the construction of an on-farm anaerobic digestion system that will digest concentrated dairy manure from the 3,000 milk cows and 1,800 dry cows on Mr. Beuker's dairy. The anaerobic digester will capture biogas from the dairy manure and fuel an engine generator that is estimated to produce an average daily peak output of 734 kW. Power produced by the project will be sold to Idaho Power through a â??net meteringâ?? arrangement. In addition, the project is expected to improve the air quality of the dairy operation.Val E. Schwendiman of Newdale, ID, is receiving a grant for $500,000 for a proposed large scale wind project and the purchase of a single 1.5 MW wind turbine. Mr. Schwendiman has been studying the wind sources on his farm since 2001 through multiple anemometer sites and has utilized data collected by the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratories (INEEL) renewable energy program. Power produced by the wind turbine will be sold under contract to PacifiCorp.Leroy Jarolimek of Burley, ID, will be receiving a grant for $10,000 to construct a 20kW wind turbine on his 1,900 acre farm located in Cassia County. Mr. Jarolimek has also been studying the use of wind resources for the past several years using an anemometer located on his farm in addition to using information collected from the INEEL renewable energy program. The turbine is expected to supply the majority of power consumed by his farm machinery repair shop as well as his residence. Power will also be sold to Idaho Power through a â??net meteringâ?? arrangement.The 2002 Farm Bill authorized the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements program. Applicants for funding include agricultural producers or rural small businesses, U.S. citizens or legal residents and have demonstrated financial need. Development grants can be used to pay up to 25 percent of the eligible project costs.[30]