Kentucky farmers, apply now for on-farm energy incentives

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy has announced the availability of applications for the 2011 ARRA On-farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives Program.

Applications are due to GOAP postmarked no later than Feb. 28.

In October 2009, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced the availability of stimulus funds for on-farm energy efficiency improvements. Since then, the program has provided 90 of Kentucky’s farmers with nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to make improvements to their operations.

On-farm energy incentives are made possible through the Renewable Energy Partnership between GOAP and the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Department for Energy Development and Independence.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“Over the last several years, reducing energy usage and developing alternative sources of energy have become critical issues for Kentucky agriculture,” said Roger Thomas, executive director of GOAP. “This program is helping Kentucky’s farm families improve on-farm energy efficiency, and the projects already approved are estimated to save more than 56.7 billion BTUs of energy per year.”

Reimbursement

The on-farm energy incentive program will provide 25 percent reimbursement of the actual cost of a federally qualified energy saving item, up to $10,000.

Permissible items include, but are not limited to, energy audits, energy efficient farm building components, on-farm energy upgrades and on-farm energy efficiency training.

Only expenditures made after March 26 will be eligible for reimbursement. All applications received from across the Commonwealth will be reviewed and scored by a committee comprised of representatives from GOAP, the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and a Rural Electric Cooperative.

A representative from USDA Rural Development and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet will each serve on the committee in an ex-officio capacity. All applications meeting the minimum requirements of eligibility will be considered for funding.

If the total eligible applications exceed the available funds, the committee will rank the applications using scoring criteria. Applicants will be notified of their approval.

The 2011 ARRA On-farm Energy Efficiency and Production Incentives Program is designed to help achieve the goals of Gov. Steve Beshear’s Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future: Kentucky’s 7-Point Energy Strategy — and will be part of the effort to meet 18 percent of Kentucky’s energy needs from efficiency improvements by 2025.

For questions about the application process for the ARRA On-farm Energy Incentives Program, contact GOAP at 502-564-4627, or govkyagpolicy@ky.gov. The application is available online at agpolicy.ky.gov.

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