Investments will Help 28 Alaskan Businesses Boost Their Bottom Line
PALMER, August 24th, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Jerry Ward today announced that USDA is investing over $420 thousand in 28 projects to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
“Investing in innovative energy technologies is critical to ensure prosperity and sustainable development for all Alaskans,” Ward said. “Thanks to the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue and President Donald Trump we’re building a better America and Alaska today, because 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.
Turkey Red, a local restaurant committed to buying local food in the Palmer area has committed to lowering their energy impacts. Last year they received a REAP grant for a solar PV system. This year $10,801 of Rural Development funds will assist Turkey Red with an energy efficiency upgrade. Induction stoves will be installed in the kitchen to cut down on the amount of cooling needed for employees’ comfort and running refrigeration systems. The projected annual energy savings is equivalent to the total annual energy use in 10.4 U.S. homes
Grace Fisheries Inc. is a small business that operates a fishing vessel in the Bristol Bay region. An Investment of $12,487 will be used to make energy efficiency improvements to their fishing vessel by replacing the single walled aluminum fish hold with a double walled fish hold and purchasing a Refrigerated Seawater System for the vessel. It will enable them to store more valuable fish, save fuel consumption by limiting the need to travel daily to replace slush ice. This project will realize $1,668 per year in savings and save 20,477 kWh of electricity per year (51%) which is enough electricity to power one home.
The family owned Risse Greenhouse in Fairbanks Alaska will receive $14,697 and benefit from the installation of a 24.80kW solar PV system on their farm and storefront. The annual energy production will be equivalent to the annual energy used in 2.5 homes or 49 barrels of oil.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.