Axne and USDA Rural Development announce investments in rural energy –

IARN – Iowa Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne and USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced new energy investments in Iowa’s biofuels as part of of the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program.

Axne and Torres Small were joined by stakeholders from the Iowa renewable fuels community at an event at the Elite Octane dry ethanol plant in the Atlantic late Tuesday morning to announce a grant energy efficiency plan of $ 250,000 funded by REAP.

Axne says the REAP grant will be used by Elite Octane to install a Dryer Exhaust Energy Recovery (DEER) system, which will capture and reuse energy from the plant’s dryer – allowing the plant to recover and use 89 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough electricity to power nearly 6,000 homes. USDA predicts that the DEER system will save the Atlantic plant more than $ 1.2 million per year in energy costs.

“What this is going to do is help them be able to create more opportunities for Iowa by lowering their costs and increasing their production,” said Axne. “I’m here with the Under Secretary to announce several grants for Iowa, not just this one, and I’m excited to be able to do so for our rural communities.”

Torres Small says the $ 250,000 grant for Elite Octane is part of a much larger announcement from USDA Rural Development.

“We are announcing today that $ 1.8 million will go to Iowa along with 92 companies to help them make their jobs more efficient,” said Torres Small. “In Iowa, that means making biofuel production more efficient and being able to leverage those growth funds to reinvest in the business.”

Axne believes the REAP investments, along with help under the Build Back Better Act, will help bring certainty to Iowa’s biofuels industry.

“In addition to what I’ll be pushing forward with Build Back Better – which of course is building infrastructure and an extension of the biodiesel tax credit – grants like these REAP awards continue to be the backbone. to help companies like Elite Octane succeed even more than they are, ”said Axne.

Torres Small explains that small businesses in rural communities often operate on a low margin.

“This is why the REAP grants we are announcing today are so crucial, because they create efficiencies that increase those margins,” said Torres Small. “Here, I look forward to learning from producers on the ground, small business owners and farmers who are working together to create new markets and grow while investing in renewable energy.

Attendees at the event included Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones, Acting Director of State of USDA Rural Development Iowa Darin Leach, and representatives from the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Cass / Atlantic Development Corporation, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Farmers Union, Iowa Soybean Association, and Iowa Rural Development Council.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Left to right: USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small and Iowa Third District MP Cindy Axne (photo by Brent Barnett)

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