USDA Rural Development
Announces Three Rural Energy for America Program
Technical Assistance Grant Awards
Resulting aid will help Maine businesses
secure grants to improve energy efficiency and save money.
Bangor, Oct. 25, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson today announced that USDA is awarding three Rural Energy for America Technical Assistance Grants (REAP TAG). Two businesses and one nonprofit secured grants through a competitive process. They will use the grants to help Maine agricultural producers and rural small businesses apply for energy efficiency grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“Today we’re celebrating a new program designed to help rural Maine farmers and small businesses become more energy efficient,” State Director Hampson said. “We are partnering to provide free technical assistance to help these businesses apply for REAP grants. More rural applicants will succeed due to this support. And when agricultural producers and businesses win REAP grants and upgrade their energy systems, they save money. These infrastructure improvements also combat climate change. This is a critical program that provides tangible benefits to all Mainers.”
Rural Development’s REAP program provides grants and loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. The program covers up to 50% of the cost for renewable energy systems (wind, geothermal, solar, etc.). REAP funds also may be used to pay for energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, lighting, and replacing energy-inefficient equipment. In fiscal year 2023, the Biden-Harris administration invested $3.95 million in Maine businesses through REAP program grants.
The grants announced today will make it easier for qualified rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for REAP funding. The three award recipients in Maine will use the funds to provide free assistance to REAP applicants, focusing their work in distressed or disadvantaged communities. Interested applicants may reach out to these technical service providers directly. The REAP TAG recipients are:
- Pecos Wind Power Inc, which manufactures smaller-scale wind turbines for on-site power generation, was awarded $152K. The company will help Maine agricultural producers and rural small businesses that wish to use distributed wind power to apply for REAP grants. Pecos Inc. will assess the feasibility of potential projects, prepare the necessary technical reports and permitting, assist the applicants with completing their REAP proposals, and plan construction and implementation. Contact: Josh Groleau, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org (207-745-2231).
- The Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC), a nonprofit based in Washington County, was awarded $151K. SCEC will help agricultural producers and small businesses in Washington County that want to explore and implement renewal energy projects. SCEC will offer tailored support including helping applicants secure partners, providing grant-writing assistance, and supporting successful applicants in implementing their projects. Contact: Denise Cilley, Associate Director, email@example.com (207-259-5103).
- Sustaine Inc., which advises businesses on how to improve energy efficiency and implement projects, was awarded $100K. Sustaine Inc. supports a variety of energy solutions like solar photovoltaics and solar thermal systems, lighting efficiency, HVAC controls, combined heat and power, etc. With its REAP TAG funding, Sustaine will help Maine small businesses and agricultural producers assess their energy needs, design suitable improvements, and prepare and submit their REAP grants. Contact: Malcolm Smith, Sustaine Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org (512-554-5104).
The REAP TAG awards are a result of the Biden-Harris administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.
USDA Rural Development accepts REAP grant applications quarterly. The next deadline is December 31, 2023. Please contact Katrina Shaw, RBCS Maine State Energy Coordinator (email@example.com or 207-990-9129) with questions about the REAP program.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.