[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 115 (Monday, June 16, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34280-34282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14048]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Business--Cooperative Service


Notice of Funding Availability for the Repowering Assistance 
Program

AGENCY: Rural Business--Cooperative Service and Rural Utilities 
Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Notice announces the availability of up to $12 million to 
make payments to eligible biorefineries in fiscal year (FY) 2014. This 
Notice announces the acceptance of applications for payments to 
eligible biorefineries to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a 
replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat 
or power in the operation of these eligible biorefineries. To be 
eligible for payments, biorefineries must have been in existence on or 
before June 18, 2008.

DATES: Applications for participating in this program for FY 2014 will 
be accepted from June 16, 2014 through September 15, 2014. Applications 
received after September 15, 2014, regardless of their postmark, will 
not be considered for (FY) 2014 payments. If the actual deadline falls 
on a weekend or a federally-observed holiday, the deadline is the next 
Federal business day.

ADDRESSES: Application materials may be obtained by contacting USDA, 
Rural Development--Energy Division, Technology Branch, Attention: 
Repowering Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 3225, 
Washington, DC 20250-3225.
    Submit applications to USDA, Rural Development--Energy Division, 
Technology Branch, Attention: Repowering Assistance Program, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Stop 3225, Washington, DC 20250-3225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on this 
payment program, please contact Fred Petok, USDA, Rural Development, 
Business Programs Energy Division, Technology Branch, 1400 Independence 
Avenue

[[Page 34281]]

SW., Room 6870, STOP 3225, Washington, DC 20250-3225. Telephone: 202-
690-0784. Email: frederick.petok@wdc.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
information collection requirements associated with the Section 9004 
Repowering Assistance Program, as covered in this Notice, have been 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control 
Number 0570-0066.

Overview

    Federal Agency Name: Rural Business--Cooperative Service (an agency 
of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Rural 
Development mission area).
    Payment Proposal Title: Repowering Assistance Program.
    Announcement Type: Initial announcement.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number. The CFDA 
number for this Notice is 10.866.
    Dates: The Repowering Assistance Program application period for FY 
2014 is June 16, 2014 to September 15, 2014.
    Availability of Notice and Rule. This Notice and the interim rule 
for the Repowering Assistance Program are available on the USDA Rural 
Development Web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_RepoweringAssistance.html. The interim rule can also be found at 7 CFR 
4288 subpart A.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Purpose of the Program

    The purpose of this program is to provide financial incentives to 
biorefineries in existence on or before June 18, 2008, the date of the 
enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 
Farm Bill) (Pub. L. 110-246), to replace the use of fossil fuels used 
to produce heat or power at their facilities by installing new systems 
that use renewable biomass, or to produce new energy from renewable 
biomass.

B. Statutory Authority

    This program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 8104.

C. Definition of Terms

    The definitions applicable to this Notice are published at 7 CFR 
4288.2.

II. Award Information

A. Available Funds

    The Agency is authorizing up to $12 million for this program in FY 
2014.

B. Number of Payments

    The number of payments will depend on the number of participating 
biorefineries.

C. Amount of Payments

    The Agency will determine the amount of payments to be made to a 
biorefinery in accordance with its regulations at 7 CFR part 4288 
subpart A which take into consideration the percentage reduction in 
fossil fuel used by the biorefinery (including the quantity of fossil 
fuels a renewable biomass system is replacing) and the cost and cost-
effectiveness of the renewable biomass system.

D. Payment Limitations

    There is no minimum payment amount that an individual biorefinery 
can receive. The maximum amount an individual biorefinery can receive 
under this Notice is 50 percent of total eligible project costs up to a 
maximum of $3 million.

E. Project Costs

    Eligible project costs will be only for project related 
construction costs for repowering improvements associated with the 
equipment, installation, engineering, design, site plans, associated 
professional fees, permits and financing fees. Any project costs 
incurred by the applicant prior to application for payment assistance 
under this Notice will be ineligible for payment assistance.

F. Type of Instrument

    Payment agreement.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

    Program requirements are found in 7 CFR 4288.10. Among other 
things, to be eligible for this program, an applicant must be a 
biorefinery that has been in existence on or before June 18, 2008, and 
will utilize renewable biomass to replace fossil fuel for repowering 
the biorefinery.

B. Ineligible Projects

    A project is not eligible under this Notice if it is using 
feedstocks for repowering that are feed grain commodities that received 
benefits under Title I of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 
2008. Projects that do not score minimum points for cost-effectiveness 
and percentage of reduction of fossil fuel used will be deemed 
ineligible.

IV. Multiple Submissions

    Corporations and entities with more than one biorefinery can submit 
an application for only one of their biorefineries. However, if a 
corporation or entity has multiple biorefineries located at the same 
location, the entity may submit an application that covers such 
biorefineries provided the heat and power used in the multiple 
biorefineries are centrally produced.

V. Scoring Advice

A. Cost Effectiveness

    To be eligible and meet the minimum scoring criteria, the project 
must have a simple payback period of no more than 10 years (i.e., must 
be awarded at least five points for cost-effectiveness under 7 CFR 
4288.21(b)(1)).

B. Percentage of Reduction of Fossil Fuel Used

    To be eligible and meet the minimum scoring criteria, the applicant 
must demonstrate that the repowering project has an anticipated annual 
reduction in fossil fuel use of at least 40 percent (i.e., the 
application must be awarded at least five points for percentage of 
reduction of fossil fuel used under 7 CFR 4288.21(b)(2)).

VI. Project Financing

    The applicant must demonstrate that it has sufficient funds or has 
obtained commitments for sufficient funds to complete the repowering 
project taking into account the amount of the payment request in the 
application.

VII. Fiscal Year 2014 Application and Submission Information

A. To Request Applications

    Application forms are available from the USDA Rural Development 
State Office, State Energy Coordinator, and the Agency Web site found 
at http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov. Follow instructions on the Agency Web 
site for obtaining the application and forms.

B. Content and Form of Submission

    Applicants must submit a signed original and one copy of an 
application containing all the information specified in 7 CFR 
4288.20(b) and (c).

C. Submission Dates and Times

    Applications to participate in this program for FY 2014 must be 
submitted between June 16, 2014 and September 15, 2014. Applications 
received after 4:30 p.m. September 15, 2014, regardless of their 
postmark, will not be considered by the Agency for FY 2014 payments.

D. Payment Provisions

    FY 2014 payments will be made according to the provisions specified 
in

[[Page 34282]]

7 CFR 4288.13(b) and (c) and in 7 CFR 4288.24.

VIII. Application Review and Selection Information

    The Agency will evaluate projects based on the cost, cost-
effectiveness, and capacity of projects to reduce fossil fuels used.

A. Review

    The Agency will review applications submitted under this Notice in 
accordance with 7 CFR 4288.21(a).

B. Scoring

    The Agency will score applications submitted under this Notice in 
accordance with 7 CFR 4288.21(b).

C. Ranking and Selecting Applications

    All scored applications will be ranked by the Agency as soon after 
September 15, 2014 as possible. The Agency will consider the score an 
application has received compared to the scores of other applications, 
with higher scoring applications receiving first consideration for 
payments. Using the application scoring criteria point values specified 
in 7 CFR 4288.21, the Agency will select applications for payments.

D. Availability of Funds

    As applications are funded, if insufficient funds remain to pay the 
next highest scoring application, the Agency may elect to pay a lower 
scoring application. Before this occurs, the Agency will provide the 
applicant of the higher scoring application the opportunity to reduce 
the amount of its payment request to the amount of funds available. If 
the applicant agrees to lower its payment request, it must certify that 
the purposes of the project can be met, and the Agency must determine 
the project is feasible at the lower amount.

IX. Administration Information

A. Notice of Eligibility

    The provisions of 7 CFR 4288.23 apply to this Notice. These 
provisions include notifying an applicant determined to be eligible for 
participation and notifying an applicant determined to be ineligible, 
including their application score and ranking and the score necessary 
to qualify for payments.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    (1) Review or Appeal Rights. A person may seek a review of an 
Agency adverse decision or appeal to the National Appeals Division as 
provided in 7 CFR 4288.3.
    (2) Compliance With Other Laws and Regulations. The provisions of 7 
CFR 4288.4 apply to this Notice, which includes requiring participating 
biorefineries to be in compliance with other applicable Federal, State, 
and local laws.
    (3) Oversight and Monitoring. The provisions of 7 CFR 4288.5(a) and 
(b) apply to this Notice, which includes the right of the Agency to 
verify all payment applications and subsequent payments and the 
requirement that each biorefinery must make available, at one place at 
all reasonable times for examination by the Agency, all books, 
documents, papers, receipts, payroll records, and bills of sale 
adequate to identify the purposes for which, and the manner in which, 
funds were expended for all eligible project costs for a period of not 
less than 3 years from the final payment date.
    (4) Reporting. Upon completion of the repowering project funded 
under this Notice, the biorefinery must submit a report, in accordance 
with 7 CFR 4288.5(c), to the Agency annually for the first 3 years 
after completion of the project. The reports are to be submitted as of 
October 1 of each year.
    (5) Exception Authority. The provisions of 7 CFR 4288.7 apply to 
this Notice.
    (6) Succession and Control of Facilities and Production. The 
provisions of 7 CFR 4288.25 apply to this Notice.
    C. Environmental Review. All recipients under this Notice are 
subject to the requirements of 7 CFR Part 1940, subpart G.

X. Agency Contacts

    For further information about this Notice, please contact Fred 
Petok, USDA, Rural Development, Business Programs Energy Division, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 6870, STOP 3225, Washington, DC 20250-
3225. Telephone: 202-690-0784. Email: frederick.petok@wdc.usda.gov.

XI. Nondiscrimination Statement

    USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where 
applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, 
religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, 
reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived 
from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to 
all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means 
for communication of program information (Braille, large print, 
audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 
(voice and TDD).
    To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant 
Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil 
Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 
toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TTD) or (866) 
377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-
relay). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Dated: May 20, 2014.
Ashli Palmer,
Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, United State 
Department of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2014-14048 Filed 6-13-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P