USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program

November 18, 2022


The Repowering Assistance Program provides payments to eligible biorefineries to replace fossil fuels used to produce heat or power to operate the biorefineries with renewable biomass. Reimbursement payments are provided to offset a portion of the costs associated with the conversion of existing fossil fuel systems to renewable biomass fuel systems.

The reimbursement amounts vary and are determined by the availability of funds, the project scope, and the ability of the proposed project to meet all the scoring criteria. In particular reimbursement amounts are calculated by the percentage reduction in fossil fuel used by the biorefinery, the quantity of fossil fuels replaced by a renewable biomass system, and the cost effectiveness of the renewable biomass system. The program will provide reimbursement payments for eligible project costs of the renewable biomass system during the construction phase of the repowering project. Up to 90% of the funds can be utilized during project construction, with the remaining 10% made upon demonstration of successful completion of the project. A maximum of 50% of the total project costs can be reimbursed, as long as amount does not exceed the maximum award for the fiscal year.

Eligible technologies may include, but are not limited to, anaerobic digesters, processed steam, biomass boilers, or combined heat and power technologies (CHP). Applicants must demonstrate, at the time of application, that the proposed site has direct access to biomass or third party commitments to supply biomass for the repowering project for at least three years.

Payments are made for eligible post-application costs incurred during the construction phase of the repowering project.

Congress allocated $35 million for FY 2009, in addition to up to $15 million in discretionary funds annually beginning in FY 2009. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended discretionary funding through FY 2013.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Federal
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: US Department of Agriculture
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Biomass
  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Landfill Gas
Incentive Amount: Varies
Maximum Incentive: 50% of the total project costs
Equipment Requirements: A facility (including equipment and processes) that converts renewable biomass into biofuels and biobased products, and may produce electricity.
Installation Requirements: Biorefineries must have been in existence on or before June 18, 2008


Name: Repowering Assistance Payment Instructions
Name: 9004 Interim Rule
Effective Date: 03/14/2011
Name: 7 USC § 8104
Name: H.R. 8 (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
Date Enacted: 01/02/2013
Effective Date: 01/02/2013


Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Address: USDA/RBS, Room 5045-S, Mail Stop 3201
Washington DC 20250-3201
Phone: (202) 690-4730
Name: Frederick Petok
Organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Address: USDA/RBS, Room 5045-S, Mail Stop 3201
Washington DC 20250-3201
Phone: (202) 690-0784

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.