The Eastern Plains Resource Conservation and Development Area is sponsoring four regional workshops focused on educating Eastern Montana city, county and tribal representatives about how Clean Renewable Energy Bonds can be used to finance wind energy projects in Eastern Montana. Bozeman-based Matney-Frantz Engineering, which helped 33 Montana cities and counties receive 2006 CREB allocations of $30 million for 34 megawatts of new wind projects in central Montana, will conduct the workshops.
In conjunction with these meetings, the Eastern Plains RC&D will also sponsor a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Bill wind energy grant workshop at the same locations for Eastern Montana ranchers, farmers and small business owners interested in using the newly authorized USDA Farm Bill for small wind projects. The Farm Bill workshops will be held at the same locations as the CREB workshops. The Farm Bill offers a 25 percent federal grant buy-down or loan guarantee for 65-130 kilowatt wind projects.
Matney-Frantz Engineering will discuss this Farm Bill energy program and how Montana ranchers, farmers and rural businesses can apply for a 2007 Farm Bill grant for small wind projects. The 2007 Farm Bill deadline is May 18, and the application process should be initiated by May 8.