U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

USDA Celebrates Earth Week by Announcing Clean Energy Grants for Family Farms and Small Businesses

Leigh Hallett
Release Date

Twenty Maine businesses across ten counties awarded $2.1M 

Bangor, April 23, 2024 – Today, in honor of Earth Day 2024, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson announced that USDA is awarding $2.1M in grants to Maine farms and rural small businesses in ten counties. The grants will help pay for projects that will lower energy costs for the businesses and increase their resilience.

“We’re excited to help twenty Maine farms and businesses transition to clean energy with these awards,” said Director Hampson. “Most of the grants we’re announcing today will help fund roof-mounted photovoltaic panels which is an innovative way to make the best use of infrastructure in rural communities. Reducing our state’s reliance on fossil fuels and limiting greenhouse gas emissions, while also preserving critical farmland and valuable natural habitats, will benefit all Mainers.”

In Pennsylvania today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced more than $194 million in loans and grants through REAP to support projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico. “The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to expanding access to modern clean energy systems and fueling options that strengthen the nation’s energy independence while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money,” Deputy Secretary Torres Small said. “As we celebrate Earth Day this year, we are excited to partner with hundreds more family farms and small businesses to address the impacts of climate change, grow the economy and keep rural communities throughout the country strong and resilient.”

The Maine investments will impact a range of farms and businesses. Among the grant recipients are five farms, four builders, two contractors, two heating companies, three auto businesses, and four other small businesses. Currently, REAP pays for no more than half of any given project, so each company will be contributing at least as much as the grant they receive. Together the businesses will be investing $2.4M to match the $2.1M awarded in grants. Examples of projects are:

  • Junction Garden LLC in Vassalboro will receive a $15,536 grant and contribute $44K for a project to expand the organic vegetable farm’s existing solar array.
  • Searsport Motor Company Inc. in Searsport will receive a $62,825 grant and contribute $63K for a project to add a new roof-mounted solar array to supply 100% of the business’s electricity needs.
  • Doles Orchard Boxshop LLC in Limington will receive a $15,879 grant and contribute $31K for a project to install a roof-mounted solar array to supply 100% of the farm and custom woodshop’s electricity needs.

Through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), USDA provides grants and loans to help ag producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs for American families. 

About REAP:

The Department expects to make additional awards in the coming months. The next deadline for REAP applications is July 1, 2024. USDA continues to accept applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes $144.5 million for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, see the REAP Program Fact Sheet or contact Katrina Shaw, USDA Rural Development Maine State Energy Coordinator (email Katrina.shaw@usda.gov or call 207-990-9129).


USDA REAP Awards Announced Today:


Grant Recipient


Grant Amount

Project Cost

Covered by Business

Douglas H. Macgilpin LLC Brunswick $52,059 $54,060
Winslow Farm LLC Falmouth $14,866 $24,710
McDonell Brothers Custom Builders LLC Windham $12,600 $14,600
Brancatos Heating Inc. Brunswick $19,188 $54,612
S.R. Tracy Inc. Northeast Harbor $38,700 $41,200
James & Whitney LLC Chelsea $942,950 $942,950
Junction Garden LLC Vassalboro $15,536 $43,899
Copeland's Garage Inc. Warren $70,000 $70,000
The Hatchet Mountain Garage Inc. Hope $21,080 $56,645
NC Hunt Inc. Jefferson $422,307 $440,740
Whynot Farm LLC Holden $14,641 $24,935
Maine Alternative Comfort Corp. Bangor $47,750 $50,250
Boca Builders LLC Woolwich $13,783 $36,117
Browne Family Enterprises Inc. Madison $22,759 $46,833
Patricia Reid (Reid Family Beef Farm) Thorndike $30,190 $77,710
Taylor-Made Builders Inc. Northport $168,709 $191,291
G + O Logic LLC Belfast $77,397 $82,197
Searsport Motor Company Inc. Searsport $62,825 $62,825
Jeffrey F. Littlefield Belfast $13,601 $66,299
Doles Orchard Boxshop LLC Limington $15,879 $30,844


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.