USDA Invests $63 Million to Support 264 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects Nationwide
USDA, August 7, 2015. Image credit: Art_Korporation
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities,” Vilsack said. “Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports home-grown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.”
These REAP projects are expected to generate and/or save 207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy – enough to power more than 13,600 homes for a year.
For example, Bradley Phillips, owner of A.B. Phillips & Sons Fruit Farm, is receiving an $18,000 grant to install a photovoltaic solar system on his farm in the village of Berlin Heights, Ohio. The system will generate nearly 13,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Phillips grows apples, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, cherries and grapes on a farm that has been in his family for more than a century.
Blue Sky Poultry, Inc., of Bainbridge, Ga., has been selected for a $16,094 grant to install a solar array on the roof of the poultry houses. The array is expected to generate 36,300 kWh of electricity per year.
Stokes Farms, LLP, of Chatfield, Minn., is receiving a $19,750 grant to install a 10 kW wind turbine. When operational, the project is expected to generate 30,000 kWh of electricity per year.
Lakeview Biodiesel, LLC will use a $3.3 million loan guarantee to help acquire a Missouri biodiesel plant and make improvements to bring it online to produce enough biodiesel to run approximately 16,500 vehicles annually.
In North Carolina, South Winston Farm, LLC is receiving a $4 million loan guarantee to finance a 7 megawatt solar array system that is expected to generate enough energy to power 994 households per year.