CONCORD, N.H., Sep 18, 2014 -- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that five New Hampshire small businesses will use $163,568 in USDA grants to install 200 kilowatts of solar capacity. The new solar projects will help reduce energy costs for the businesses and are estimated to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 180 homes a year.
"This funding will help rural small businesses improve their bottom line and improve our environment through the installation of new solar arrays," said New Hampshire and Vermont State Director Ted Brady. "USDA Rural Development is helping to build sustainable rural communities one business at a time. These grants incentivize investment that helps businesses stay in the black and helps our country move towards energy independence."
The competitively awarded grants cover up to 25 percent of a project’s cost. The $163,568 in federal funding will be matched with nearly $500,000 in other funding. During an event in North Carolina Thursday, Vilsack announced $68 million in USDA grants through the Rural Energy for America Program, recently reauthorized in the 2014 Farm, Foods and Jobs Bill.
Five New Hampshire businesses received grants:
- 959 Boys (Portsmouth): $26,270 will assist with the purchase and installation of a 28.28 kilowatt solar photovoltaic roof-mounted system offsetting the current electrical usage of three businesses by 99.64 percent.
- Conner Bottling Works (Newfields): $49,921 will assist with the purchase and installation of a 43.68 kilowatt solar photovoltaic roof- and ground-mounted system offsetting current electrical usage by 100 percent.
- Furlone (Spofford): $30,000 will assist with the purchase and installation of a 65.6 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system to offset current electrical usage by 92.5 percent at three rental properties.
- L.A. Borchu Inc. (Concord): $37,477 will assist with the purchase and installation of a 37.8 kilowatt solar photovoltaic ground-mounted system offsetting current electrical usage by 108 percent.
- The Storage Barn (Newington): $19,900 will assist with the purchase and installation of a 20.16 kilowatt solar photovoltaic roof-mounted system offsetting electrical usage by 100 percent.
Through the Rural Energy for American Program, USDA Rural Development helps finance the cost of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements for rural small businesses and agricultural producers through grants, loan guarantees and grant/guarantee combinations. The agency is currently accepting both grant and loan guarantee applications.
President Obama's historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $201 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development website (www.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html) or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.