USDA to Help 12 Hawaii, Western Pacific Rural Small Businesses Boost Renewable Energy Use, Save on Energy Costs

Contact: Amy M. Parr
(808) 541-2600 x133

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for 12 Hawaii and Western Pacific projects, totaling 821 projects across the nation, that will help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will be used to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems.

“In Hawaii and the Western Pacific, with energy costs at a premium, any help made available to our small, rural businesses helps not just the businesses through energy efficient, cost-saving measures, but the environment as the region moves away from dependence on nonrenewable energy sources,” said Chris Kanazawa, Rural Development State Director. “Each REAP award helps Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative and moves one step further from oil dependence and a step closer to 100 percent renewable energy usage by 2045.”  

USDA is providing $43.2 million in loan guarantees and $11.6 million in grants through REAP for projects in every state, as well as in the Virgin Islands, the Western Pacific and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Funding of each award announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

Hawaii and Western Pacific recipients include:

State

Recipient

Grant

Project Description

HI

A Beautiful Edge of the World

$6,594

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system

HI

AI Farms

$4,754

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system

HI

Beyond Brandon LLC

$18,112

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system

HI

Celestial Properties LLC

$18,376

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system

HI

Custom Sailboards Inc.

$10,655

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system.

HI

Emily Taaroa

$10,936

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system.

HI

Feed the Keiki LLC

$15,750

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system.

HI

Kohala Meats & Deli LLC

$11,807

To make energy efficiency improvements to the lighting system.

HI

Lewa Nuu Ohana Hydroponics

$4,016

To make energy efficiency improvements that included refrigeration and lighting system.

HI

Michael Takeshi Nakashima LLC

$20,000

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system.

HI

Solar Wave PPA LLC

$20,000

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system.

WP

Cube inc.

$6,270

To purchase and install a solar renewable energy system, and energy efficiency lighting.

From 2009 to date, REAP has helped finance more than 11,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that have reduced energy costs for roughly 15,000 rural businesses. During this period, USDA has provided more than $373 million in grants and almost $481 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners.

The Rural Energy for America Program also helps businesses create jobs, helps farmers and rural businesses reduce their carbon footprint, and helps the country move closer to energy independence.

Congress created the REAP program in the 2002 Farm Bill. Because of the program’s success, Congress reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill with guaranteed funding of at least $50 million annually for the duration of the five-year Farm Bill.

Helping thousands of rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers shift away from fossil-based energy by installing renewable energy systems and energy efficiency solutions has been one of the most important components of USDA’s climate mitigation investments. Thanks to USDA investments in renewable energy projects of all sizes, rural Americans are saving more than 10.4 billion kWh – enough energy to power more than 959,000 American homes annually.

USDA has invested $38 billion in electric loans and more than $1 billion for smart grid technologies since 2009, helping build more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving approximately 5 million rural customers annually. Today, more than 2,200 USDA wind and solar renewable electricity generation projects power more than 130,000 homes. More information on these energy investments can be found in USDA’s entry on Medium, “How Food and Forestry Are Adapting to a Changing Climate.”

Last Modified: 07/11/2016