Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing more than $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.
"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."
“Rural Development is pleased to offer funding through the REAP program to seven Texas recipients,” said Rural Development State Director, Paco Valentin. “By reducing energy costs, these businesses become more competitive, allowing them to expand, create jobs and serve a larger rural population.”
Seven recipients throughout Texas will utilize $69,256 of awarded funding to make energy efficient upgrades and improvements. From energy efficient improvements to poultry houses, to installation of photovoltaic solar systems and electrical irrigation pumps, businesses throughout Texas will use their grants to modernize their facilities with energy saving devices and equipment. The awards list announced today is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
For a complete list of recipients and further details on each project, please visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RDREAPGrantAwards_06_10_15.pdf. For more information on the REAP program, or any other Rural Development program offered throughout Texas, including local office contact information, please view http://www.rd.usda.gov/tx.
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.
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.
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.