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USDA - Biorefinery Assistance Program

Investor-Owned Utility
Local Government
Municipal Utilities
Cooperative Utilities
State Government
Federal Government
Tribal Government
Savings Category 
Municipal Solid Waste
Landfill Gas
Program Info
Sector Name 
US Department of Agriculture
Program Type 
Loan Program
USDA Rural Development is offering loan guarantees for the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries. Eligible borrowers include individuals, entities, Indian tribes, state or local governments, corporations, farm cooperatives or farm cooperative organizations, associations of agricultural producers, National Laboratories, institutions of higher education, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, and consortium of any of these types of entities. Financed entities must provide at least 20% of the financing for eligible project costs, and applications for funding must include an independent feasibility study and technical assessment.  Eligible project costs include the purchase and installation of equipment, construction or retrofitting costs, permit and licensing fees, working capital, land acquisition, and the costs of financing.

The project must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be for the development and construction or the retrofitting of a commercial-scale biorefinery using an eligible technology
  • Must use an eligible feedstock for the production of advanced biofuels and biobased products
  • The majority of the production must be an advanced biofuels

Eligible advanced biofuels include:

  • Biofuel derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin, or other fuels derived from cellulose
  • Biofuel derived from sugar, starch, excluding ethanol derived from from corn kernel starch
  • Biofuel derived from waste material, including crop residue, vegetative waste material, animal waste, food waste, and yard waste
  • Diesel fuel derived from renewable biomass, including vegetable oil and animal fat
  • Biogas, including landfill gas and sewage waste treatment gas, produced through the conversion of organic matter from renewable biomass

In 2014, "renewable chemicals"  and "biofuels" were added to this program under the name of Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program to provide guaranteed loans for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries or for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels.

Congress allocated $75 million for FY 2009 and $245 million for FY 2010, in addition to up to $150 million in discretionary funds annually beginning in FY 2009. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended discretionary funding through FY 2013.  For FY 2014, approximately $76 million in carry over budget will support a program level of approximately $181 million.

Forms must be submitted by January 30th of each program year to compete for funds. Click here for application forms.