Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing more than $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. In South Dakota, 15 projects will receive a total of $144,000.
“These grants will help farmers, ranchers and small business owners use more renewable energy, which cuts carbon pollution, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, saves businesses money on their energy bills and creates American jobs,” Vilsack said. “All of these are crucial components to developing healthier, more economically vibrant rural communities.”
REAP was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. REAP funding has helped farmers expand renewable energy use in recent years. The new Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms utilizing renewable energy production has doubled in the last five years.
Since 2009, USDA has awarded $545 million to support more than 8,800 REAP projects nationwide. This includes $361 million in grants and loans for almost 2,900 renewable energy systems. For the remaining 5,900 projects, USDA provided $184 million to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers make energy efficiency improvements such as lighting; heating, ventilation and cooling; irrigation; insulation and motor replacements. When fully operational, these projects are estimated to generate and save 7.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power more than 660,000 homes for a year.
Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.
Successful recipients in South Dakota include:
- Bon Homme Colony of Tabor was awarded $6,591 to replace lighting in a dairy barn with EE LED lighting to reduce consumption by 58% in the facility.
- Central Electric Cooperative of Mitchell was awarded $7,511 to generate electricity to be sold saving fossil fuel electrical production.
- CMI Architectural, Inc. of DeSmet was awarded $11,693 to replace existing lighting with LED lightening and reduces energy consumption by 54%.
- Custer County Market, Inc. of Custer was awarded $2,224 to replace old lightening with new LED lighting, expected savings of 57% energy use.
- Einspahr Auto Plaza, Inc. of Brookings was awarded $18,672 to replace lighting with new LED lighting and reduce energy usage by 70%.
- Michael Gassman of Canova was awarded $3,918 to install a geothermal heating and cooling system, projected annual savings of $3,578.
- Handi Mart, LLC based in Arlington, SD was awarded $4,859 to replace existing lighting with EE LED lighting, projected reduced energy consumption of 61%.
- Kan-Meyer, Inc. based in Sturgis was awarded $19,504 to replace lighting and coolers in the grocery store, projected reduced energy usage by over 78%.
- KC Dairies, LLP based in Elkton was awarded $10,553 to replace the existing lighting in the dairy barn, reducing energy usage by 78%.
- Rosebell, Inc. based in Wall was awarded $19,991 to replace the lighting and coolers in the grocery store, project reduced energy usage of 74%.
- Robert Rumpza based in Waubay was awarded $11,501 to install a new electric grain-handling system, projected reduced energy usage by 95%.
- Stewart’s Aronia Acres, LLC based in Wagner was awarded $8,420 to replace coolers for a berry farm operation.
- Tea Supermarket, Inc. based in Tea was awarded $11,428 to replace lighting in the store with energy efficient LED lights; projected reduced energy consumption by 52%.
- The Main Stop, LLC based in DeSmet was awarded a $3,345 to replace existing lighting with EE LED lighting, project reduced energy usage by 60%.
- WWP, Inc. (Howdy’s) based in Whitewood was awarded $3,790 to replace old lighting with new, energy-efficient LED lighting in this retail grocery and convenience store, projected reduced energy use by 53%.
The awards list announced today is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.