Investments will Help 12 Rural South Carolina Farmers, Ag Producers and Businesses Lower Energy Costs and Benefit Their Communities
Columbia, S.C., August 17, 2020 – The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $37 million to help lower energy costs for South Carolina farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“These investments will help farmers, ag producers and rural businesses make energy efficiency improvements and will also create more jobs in their communities,” said South Carolina USDA Rural Development State Director Debbie Turbeville. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural South Carolina in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know 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 rural South Carolina, Centerfield Cooper Solar, LLC will use a $25 Million Loan to provide the permanent financing for a 97.7 MWdc 539.3-acre utility-scale solar farm located in Chesterfield, South Carolina. Centerfield Cooper Solar, LLC will be managed by Pine Gate Renewables, LLC an industry leading developer, and operator of utility scale solar farms. The project will be connected to the Santee Cooper Power Grid. The farm will be fully constructed, tested and connected to the grid prior to funding. Utility scale solar will have a long-term positive impact to the surrounding community. Also, owners of the facilities usually contract with local companies to provide some of the maintenance of the site during operation. Centerfield Cooper Solar, LLC will create three jobs with an average wage rate of $30.00 per hour.
In Darlington county, Robert E Moore, III Farms, LLC, a family owned farming company, will use an $18,000 investment to purchase and install a grain dryer which will increase energy efficiency. This project will realize over $10,000 per year in savings and will replace 113,951 kWh per year, which is enough energy to power 10 homes.
In Cherokee county, Mohea Solar Energy Center, LLC will receive $3.7 million to purchase and install a 6.5 MWdc solar energy utility scale solar system. Mohea Solar is a newly created entity for the purpose of generating electricity in Gaffney, South Carolina. The system is estimated to produce over 9.9 million kWh of power for 8,860 homes. This project is expected to create three jobs in the area with an average wage of $20 per hour.
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/sc.
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