RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 30, 2023 – Eight Virginia projects are included in today’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement of $266 million in funding for renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects to lower costs, generate new income and strengthen the resilience of operations in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
The loans and grants will be awarded through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) with funding made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act. This landmark legislation is the nation’s largest investment in combatting the climate crisis and has helped USDA make up to $1.3 billion available to producers and business owners since December 2022.
“We’re pleased to offer funding for modern, renewable energy infrastructure that helps position Virginia producers and business owners for greater prosperity,” said Perry Hickman, USDA Rural Development Virginia State Director. “This year, we’re supporting a wide range of entities that were all seeking to lower operating costs through solar power systems.”
Today’s awards will help the following businesses and agricultural operations purchase and install photovoltaic systems on their property:
- Consumers Auto Warehouse Inc. – The used car dealership is receiving a $20,000 grant for a 24.8-kW roof system with sixty-two 400-watt modules and microinverters that will help offset about 74 percent of electric usage at the Staunton site with a 16-year simple payback.
- Dockery Properties LLC – The Staunton business will use the $18,150 grant to fund a 15.33-kW roof system with forty-two 365-watt modules and microinverters that will offset approximately 101 percent of the leased building's usage for a chiropractic business with a simple payback of about 23 years.
- Virginia Panel Corporation – The interface connector manufacturer is receiving a $345,337 grant to fund a 367.38-kW roof system at its Waynesboro facility with a simple payback of about 23 years.
- Zeus Digital Theater LLC – The grantee will use the $247,800 grant to add a 242.1-kW roof system that offset 56 percent of the electric usage for the veteran-owned movie theater with a simple payback of about 26 years. (A USDA Business and Industry guaranteed loan funded building construction on a 4.72-acre lot in Waynesboro)
- Moisewitsch-Seiller Holdings Inc. –The grantee is receiving a $20,000 grant to fund a 16-kW roof system with forty 400-watt solar modules and 40 microinverters that will help offset 160 percent of current electric usage at Revalation Vineyards in Madison County.
- TSL Farms Inc. – The Rockingham County poultry operation will use the $126,562 grant to set up a 102.6-kW grounded unit with seven inverters on one 74-acre property and another 44.1-kW PV module with three inverters on second 20-acre site. The 326 solar panels and 10 inverters will have a combined 146.7-kW capacity that will offset 91 percent of the electric usage with a simple payback of 17 years.
- Alex T. Botkin – The $96,800 grant will fund a 112.32-kW roof system with two hundred thirty-four 480-watt modules and 12 inverters that will offset about 98 percent of the 60-acre Augusta County poultry farm’s electrical usage with an 18-year simple payback.
- Regeneration Cycle LLC – The $115,880 grant will finance a 170.4-kW ground system with four hundred eighty 355-watt modules and 12 inverters that will offset 113 percent of current electric usage for poultry production and other farming enterprises on the 94.9-acre Rockingham County operation with a simple payback of about 15 years.
Virginia’s awards are included in the 1,334 total projects funded in the following states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
USDA continues to accept applications for quarterly funding competitions through Sept. 30, 2024, with additional awards expected in the coming months. This funding includes $144.5 million for underutilized renewable energy technologies. See page 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register for additional information on application deadlines and submission requirements.
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.