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.

Https

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 Invests $146,768 in 14 West Virginia Rural Businesses to Combat Climate Change

Name
Emily Cannon
Release Date
Aug 25, 2022

WV is part of Nationwide Announcement of $121 Million in 49 States

 

SHARON, Conn., August 24, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh today announced USDA is investing $121 million in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural America. The investments include $111 million for 289 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities.

“Rural America is on the front lines of climate change, and our communities deserve investments that will strengthen all of our resilience,” Bronaugh said. “The Biden-Harris Administration has created a roadmap for how we can tackle the climate crisis and expand access to renewable energy infrastructure. The investments we’re announcing today and those that will be made possible by historic funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will strengthen our energy security, create good-paying jobs and save Americans money on their energy costs.”

“We are advocates for, investors in, and partners to small businesses in rural communities throughout the state,” said USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Ryan Thorn. “The fourteen investments we’re announcing today demonstrate how Rural Development’s programs offer climate-smart solutions that provide small businesses the opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and bolster their bottom line, which allows them to reinvest in growing their business and creating jobs”

In West Virginia, a total of 14 rural businesses will benefit from grants through the Rural Energy for America Program:

  • Suzanne Behrmann has received $19,990 to make energy efficiency improvements at Shepherd’s Whey Creamery’s cheese-making facility in Berkeley County, West Virginia, with the purchase and construction of a cold-storage facility. This project will realize $1,605 per year in savings and will reduce 9,854 kWh (50 percent) per year. The project savings is equivalent to the energy usage for the majority of one home.
  • J FARGO has received $15,735. J. Frank Fargo is a family-owned insurance business in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 16.6-kW solar array. This project will realize $1,769 per year in savings and will replace 19,656 kWh (100 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power two homes.
  • Cardinal Builders Inc. has received $8,882. Cardinal Construction is a construction company located in Barboursville, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 12-kW solar array. This project will realize $1,912 per year in savings and will replace 14,930 kWh (44 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power one home.
  • Thomas O Mcateer has received $8,477. Thomas O. McAteer owns a cattle and vegetable farm  in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 10-kW solar array. This project will realize $1,447 per year in savings and will replace 13,768 kWh (100 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power one home.
  • Puesta Del Sol LLC has received $13,304. Puesta Del Sol is a family-owned livestock and vegetable farm, in addition to a farm-to-table facility in Hampshire County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 16-kW solar array. This project will realize $2,658 per year in savings and will replace 24,165 kWh (100 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power two homes.
  • Bellofram Corporation has received $16,807. BelloFram Corporation is an existing electronics manufacturer in Hancock County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED Lighting. This project will realize $1,216 per year in savings and will reduce 16,447 kWh (70 percent) per year. The energy savings will provide enough savings to power one home per year.
  • Fargo Insurance And Financial Services Inc. has received $6,176. Fargo Insurance is a family-owned insurance business in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 8.96-kW solar array. This project will realize $966 per year in savings and will replace 10,215 kWh (100 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power the majority of one home.
  • Riley Properties LLC has received $13,701. Riley Properties owns and operates a commercial building in Fairmont, West Virginia where solar panels will be installed. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 26-kW solar array. This project will realize $3,168 per year in savings and will replace 30,631 kWh (98 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power two homes.
  • Smiley William Weatherford III has received $6,796. Smiley Weatherford, a family-owned livestock and vegetable farm, will purchase and install a 8.6-kW solar array in Nicholas County, West Virginia. This project will save $1,153 per year and replace 9,297 kWh (40%) annually for the business operation, which is enough electricity to power a portion of a home.
  • Seachrist And Associates AC has received $5,887. Seachrist & Associates is a commercial building owner in Wheeling, West Virginia. Project funds will be used to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of LED Lighting. This project will realize $2,978 per year in savings and will reduce 24,287 kWh (27 percent) per year. The energy savings will provide enough savings to power two homes per year.
  • Francis X. Mulkeen has received $5,825. Francis Mulkeen has afamily-owned landscaping small business and vegetable farm in Preston County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 10-kW solar array. This project will realize $1,371 per year in savings and will replace 13,719 kWh (100 percent) per year for a greenhouse and toolshed, which is enough electricity to power one home.
  • Henderson Insurance Inc. has received $3,748. Henderson Insurance is a family-owned insurance business in Putnam County, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 6-kW solar array. This project will realize $713 per year in savings and will replace 7,944 kWh (99 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power a portion of one home.
  • Ball Family Farm LLC has received $12,994. Ball Family Farm LLC, a family-owned livestock and vegetable farm in Raleigh County, West Virginia, will purchase and install a 28.56-kW solar array.  This project will save $3,773 per year and replace 30,187 kWh (40%) annually, which is enough electricity to power two homes.
  • Horsecamp LLC has received $8,446. Horsecamp LLC is a family-owned excavation business in Harman, West Virginia. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 10-kW solar array. This project will realize $1,275 per year in savings and will replace 12,751 kWh (47 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power one home.

These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest ever federal investment in clean energy for the future. For example, the Act includes $14 billion in funding for USDA programs that support the expansion of biofuels and help rural businesses and electric cooperatives transition to renewable energy and zero-emission systems.

Background:  

Bronaugh highlighted a total of 415 investments that USDA is making through three programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are Community Facilities Disaster Grants, Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants, and Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Grants.

The investments will help state and local government entities, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Tribes construct, renovate or purchase and install equipment for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. They also will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems as well as make energy efficiency improvements. The investments will also help with energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

###

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.