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USDA Honors Earth Day, Makes $975,000 in Clean Energy Investments for Four Arizona Businesses

Jamie Welch Jaro
Release Date

PHOENIX, April 23, 2023 – In honor of Earth Day this week, USDA Rural Development Arizona State Director Charlene Fernandez today announced the agency is funding more than $975,000 to advance clean energy projects for four Arizona businesses. These projects are funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combating the climate crisis.

“Today’s awards reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s and USDA’s commitment to ensuring our most vulnerable communities across Arizona receive the support to keep electricity costs low and transition toward more sustainable forms of energy,” Fernandez said. “As the backbone of Arizona’s rural areas and their economies, small businesses deserve the opportunity to do their part in reducing emissions while benefiting from low energy costs.”

Pinion Painting LLC in Prescott will use a $28,800 grant to purchase and install 15.17-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system on the roof of its building. This project is expected to save the business $3,268 annually and is designed to displace 150 percent of the business’s annual electric demand.

Justin Littenford LLC, a glass blowing business in Sedona, will use a $37,750 grant to buy and install a 20.9-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system. The system is expected to save this business about $14,400 annually.

Chucho Produce LLC in Nogales is receiving a $682,539 grant to install a 614.9-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the roof of its building. It’s expected this system will save the business $108,465 per year and produce 1,090,558 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, offsetting 100 percent of the annual electric demand for this refrigerated food warehouse. 

Circle Z Ranch Inc. in Patagonia will use a $226,249 grant to install a 145.6-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the roof of its open-air arena. This project is expected to save the business $25,769 annually and produce 255,299 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, which is enough energy to power 35 homes.

The investments, made through the Rural Energy America Program (REAP), are included in a national announcement in which $238 million will go to support more than 700 clean energy projects nationwide.

The REAP program helps agricultural producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, geothermal, and small hydropower 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. 

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the USDA Rural Development Arizona state office.  

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/az.