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FCC Backs On-Farm Energy Projects

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Farmers and agribusinesses eyeing ways to use renewable energy in their operations can now get federal loans to move projects forward.

Farm Credit Canada will offer a new FCC Energy Loan to help farmers and agribusinesses move toward producing their own renewable energy.

Available starting March 1, the FCC Energy Loan is meant to help farms and agribusinesses buy and install on-farm energy sources such as biogas, geothermal, wind or solar power.

For this loan FCC said it will offer an interest term of up to five years at variable or fixed rates and with monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual payments available.

“There are sources of energy all around Canadian farmyards and we’re helping producers invest in the technologies needed to tap those opportunities,” federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Monday, announcing the program while addressing the Canadian Federation of Agriculture in Ottawa.

FCC cited a recent FCC Vision survey in which 60 per cent of those surveyed are thinking about new ways to find financial value by reducing their environmental impact.

The survey, completed in November 2009 by 1,172 farmers and agribusiness operators across Canada revealed that 37 per cent of those looking at reducing their impact are also considering the use of renewable energy sources in their operations.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in the number of people across the country that are interested in renewable energy sources to reduce costs and demand on the energy grid,” FCC CEO Greg Stewart said in the same release Monday.

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