Puerto Rico received $6,023,666 for 31 Renewable Energy Projects and half a million dollar to provide technical assistance for rural energy projects.
San Juan, Puerto Rico – September 27, 2023 – USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA awarded $266 million in 1,334 loans and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements that will reduce their energy costs, generate new revenue, and strengthen the resilience of their operation. This funding is made possible in part by President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, the nation's largest investment in fighting the climate crisis.
Maximiliano J. Trujillo-Ortega, State Director of USDA Rural Development for Puerto Rico indicated that today new projects are announced for a total of 31 renewable energy projects in Puerto Rico received $6,023,666. Between grants from USDA Rural Development and the rural private sector, there will be an investment of nearly $20 million in renewable energy systems and more efficient equipment. These systems will help rural PYMES and farmers lower energy costs, keep equipment and services running when power outages occur, boosting Puerto Rico's economy. USDA Rural Development will continue to provide loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), included in the funding of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, through September 2024.
Trujillo-Ortega indicated that of the 31 cases that received funds, four are agricultural producers and six are in RPN zones.
"Creating opportunities for rural communities means investing in farmers, ranchers, and small businesses," said Secretary Vilsack. "A key pillar of Bidenomics, President Biden's Investing in America agenda, is ensuring that our producers and business owners are not only part of the clean energy economy but benefit directly from it."
- Ramey Resort Inc., a hotel in Aguadilla received $1,000,000 to purchase and install a 1,300-kW photovoltaic system. The project will save $1,536,616 annually.
- Supermercado Agueybana Inc., which operates as Supermercado ECONO in Guánica, received the purchase of $230,320 and installed a 264.3 kW photovoltaic system connected to a battery backup energy storage system to ensure power. The project will save $391,864 annually.
- Rincon de la Villa Inc, Hotel, received $159,732 to purchase and install a 221.85 kW photovoltaic system. The project will save $94,607 annually.
- Campo Alegre Inc., in Hatillo, received $126,760 to purchase and replace a 136.6kW solar PV system connected to a battery-backed energy storage system to ensure power. The project will save $133.400 annually.
- Succession Espinosa Rivera Inc. Agricultural producer in Hatillo received $98,334 to purchase and install a 22.5 kW photovoltaic system connected to a battery backup energy storage system to ensure power. The project will save $33,600 annually.
- Clínica Visual del Oeste CPS received $45,480 to purchase and install a 24.8 kW solar photovoltaic system connected to a battery backup energy storage system to guarantee power to this medical office in Aguadilla. The project will save $10,195 annually.
- Hamad, Nedal DBA Impact Stores in Lares received $33,040 to purchase and install a 31.98 kW solar PV system, which helped ensure the business never lost power. The project will save $14,663 annually.
- Hogar Campo Verde Inc., a nursing home in Juncos received $30,000 to purchase and install a 15-kW solar photovoltaic system connected to a battery backup energy storage system to ensure power. The project will save $8,204 annually.
On the other hand, to encourage greater participation of farmers and PYMES in rural areas in the REAP program, the Rural Energy Technical Assistance Program for America (REAP TAG) aims to provide technical assistance to potential REAP applicants. Trujillo-Ortega announced today that Rural Development awarded REAP TAG grants to three entities in Puerto Rico, including the Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, which will offer support to the municipalities of Adjuntas, Jayuya, Lares, Maricao and Utuado these municipalities are areas covered by the RPN program. Americouncel, LLC and Borincana Foundation, Inc., also where awarded REAP TAG to provide technical assistance to the entire island. USDA Rural Development awarded half a million dollars to provide technical assistance for rural energy projects.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunity, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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 and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/pr
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