RUS cleared to lend electric co-ops up to $2 billion for generation plants with carbon capture and storage
Arlington, VA; November 18, 2011 – Congress last night approved the FY12 Agriculture-Transportation-Commerce appropriations, clearing the way for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to grant loans for building electric power generation with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Of the $7.024 billion available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s RUS loan program, $2 billion is available for co-ops to build power plants with CCS technology.
“This initiative allows cooperatives to explore carbon capture and storage as one element in meeting increased consumer demand for electric power,” said Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). “This opens the door for co-ops to partner with RUS to drive energy innovation.”
The spending package also authorizes $424 million for guaranteed underwriter loans, in addition to the $6.6 billion in RUS electric loan levels.
The Senate voted 70-30 to accept the conference committee’s report and the House passed the measure on 298-121 vote. The President is expected to sign the bill by Sunday, November 20.
NRECA is the national service organization for more than 900 not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states and whose retail sales account for approximately 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States.