Trump Administration Invests $12.3 Million to Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems in Rural Florida and U.S. Virgin Islands

Name
Jennifer Dillard
City
Gainesville
Release Date
Aug 20, 2020

Investment to Help 17 Businesses Boost Their Bottom Line

The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $12.3 million to make energy efficiency improvements and adopt renewable energy systems in rural Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

“Helping farmers, ag producers, and rural businesses save money on energy costs is vital to the success of operations and the creation of jobs,” said Phil Leary, State Director for Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to making sure our farmers, ag producers, and rural small businesses prosper because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

The following are examples of projects being funded under today’s announcement: 

  • In Mount Dora, Fla., H & A Farms LLC, a farm that imports, packages, and processes blueberries, will use a $144,534 grant to purchase and install a 399.8 kW rooftop solar PV system. This project will realize $44,062 per year in savings and will replace 592,986 kWh (55 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power 55 homes.   
  • The Laser Investment Group LLC, a developer of business space in Alachua, Fla., will utilize a $229,649 grant for the purchase and installation of a 677 kW rooftop solar array which will offset electricity usage at the business site.  This investment will realize $143,312 per year in savings and will replace 929,676 kWh (368 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power 85 homes. 
  • BMR Donoe Solar LLC, a solar farm located on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, will receive a $6.5 million loan guarantee to construct a 6-6.3 MW solar farm. The system is estimated to produce 10,359,000 kWh per year, or enough electricity to power 1,800 homes on the island.  

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.

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