USDA - Biorefinery Assistance Program (Federal)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place United States

Name USDA - Biorefinery Assistance Program
Incentive Type Federal Loan Program
Applicable Sector Commercial, Industrial, Local Government, Construction, Utility, State Government, Tribal Government, Fed. Government, Municipal Utility, Investor-Owned Utility, Rural Electric Cooperative, Agricultural, Institutional
Eligible Technologies Landfill Gas, Biomass, Municipal Solid Waste, Ethanol, Biodiesel
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector Federal
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount 90% maximum loan guarantee on loans of up to 125 million

80% maximum loan guarantee on loans of up 150 million
70% maximum loan guarantee on loans of 150-200 million
60% maximum loan guarantee on loans of 200 million up to 250 million

Maximum Incentive Maximum loan amount: 80% of project costs or 250 million

Terms Term: 20 years or the useful life of the project, whichever is less

Rate: Lender's customary commercial interest rate, fixed or variable
Fees vary with % guarantee and loan amount

Program Administrator US Department of Agriculture

References DSIRE[1]


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

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.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name National Office
Department U.S. Department of Agriculture
Division Business and Cooperative Programs
Address Mail Stop 3201
Address 2 1400 Independence Avenue SW
Place Washington, District of Columbia
Zip/Postal Code 20250-3201
Phone (202) 690-4730
Phone 2 (800) 877-8339

Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: 7 CFR 4279, Subpart C.
Date Enacted 2011-02-14

Authority 2: 7 USC § 8103

Authority 3: H.R. 8 (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
Date Effective 2013-01-02
Date Enacted 2013-01-02

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DSIRE" defined multiple times with different content