USDA Helps Rural Businesses Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems

Name
Jessica Mancel
Phone
City
STEVENS POINT
Release Date
Dec 10, 2019

Investments will Help Eight Businesses Boost Their Bottom Line

STEVENS POINT, Wis., Dec. 10, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs. The Department is providing 640 awards to applicants in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

These investments are good for each business’s bottom line by reducing energy costs and helping create more jobs,” Frassetto said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to be a strong partner to rural businesses, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.

In Wisconsin,

  • Octopi Brewing LLC in Waunakee will receive a $94,230 grant to install a solar array. This will save the company $20,180 each year which will save enough electricity to power 26 homes.
     
  • The Storage Rink LLC in Spooner will receive a $186,000 grant to install a solar array. This will save the company $33,249 each year which will save enough electricity to power 42 homes.
     
  • Viking Packaging Technologies Inc in Oostburg will receive a $104,571 grant to install a solar array. This will save the company $24,536 each year which will save enough electricity to power 28 homes.
     
  • Central Wisconsin Electric Coop in Rosholt will receive a $13,417 grant to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED lights to replace existing dusk-to-dawn lights. This upgrade will lower electrical consumption by an estimated 45 percent a year, enough to power three homes.
     
  • Bodart Farms in Pulaski is receiving a $58,474 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. The project will save the farm $11,882 each year and replace enough demand to power 56 homes.
     
  • M&E Farms LLC in Jim Falls is receiving a $36,412 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. The project will save the farm $12,744 each year and replace enough demand to power 21 homes.
     
  • M-Line Farms Inc in Alma is receiving a $30,313 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. The project will save the farm $16,216 each year and replace enough demand to power 28 homes.
     
  • Todd Schrankel of Green Power Farms in Shell Lake is receiving a $70,000 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. The project will save the business $37,278 each year and replace enough demand to power 70 homes.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wi.

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