Under the proposed rule, the maximum loan amount will be $250 million; there is no minimum amount. The amount of a loan guarantee for a project will not exceed 80 percent of the total eligible project costs.
Repowering Assistance Payments – USDA is proposing to make payments to eligible biorefineries to install new systems that encourage renewable biomass energy use and replace fossil fuels. Under the proposed rule, USDA Rural Development will propose procedures for eligible biorefineries to receive a payment equal to 50 percent of the cost of installing eligible systems, up to $5 million, whichever is less. There is no minimum payment amount. The initial payment would be a percentage of the cost of installing eligible systems. The remaining payment would be based on the amount of energy produced from renewable biomass.
Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels – USDA Rural Development is proposing to establish a payment program for eligible producers of advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, advanced biofuels must be produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch. USDA would enter into contracts with advanced biofuels producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels.
Additional information on the proposed rules and instructions on how the public can offer comments are available in the April 16, 2010 Federal Register: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html#Rural%20Business-Cooperative%20Service
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $132 billion in loans and loan guarantees.