U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico.
“USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before,” Vilsack said. “We recognize that lowering energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers helps to expand economic development and employment opportunities for people in America’s rural towns and communities. The investments we are announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions.”
Here in Louisiana, USDA is financing $684,246 of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 1.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural Louisiana, which equates to enough electricity to power 186 homes per year.
The following businesses received REAP investments:
- Pierre Part Store will use $86,111 to help install a cool roof coating. This project is expected to save $17,381 per year in Pierre Part. Pierre Part Store offers grocery products, hardware, lumber, and commercial & industrial supplies.
- Burregi Inc. dba Galliano Food Store will use $9,615 to help install LED lighting for the supermarket in Galliano. This project is expected to save $11,520 per year.
- Port Vincent Village Market will use a $119,185 to help install an energy-efficient refrigeration and heating, ventilation, and cooling system in Denham Springs. Port Vincent sells food products and catering services. This project is expected to save $18,704 per year.
- Fremins Inc., a grocery store in Port Sulphur, will use $31,950 to help install a cool roof coating system. The store provides full lines of grocery produce, dairy, frozen food and meat. This project is expected to save $9,841 per year.
- Soprano's Supermarket will use $189,000 to help install a 360-kilowatt hours solar photovoltaic system to the grocery store in Livonia. This project is expected to save $57,179 per year.
- V. Watts Furniture will use $13,927 to install a cool roof coating system to its operation in Livingston. This project is expected to save $3,150 per year.
- Golden Motors LLC will use $69,480 to help purchase a 154-kilowatt solar array system to its dealership in Cut Off. The energy-efficient system is expected to save $24,880 dollars per year.
- S & W Wholesale Foods, a food distribution company, will use $10,631 to help install a cool roof coating system in Hammond. This project is expected to save $8,595 per year.
- Veron's Supermarket will use $56,710 to help install a 70 kW/DC solar panel system to its operation in Lutcher. This project is expected to save $13,208 per year.
- Gerace Farming will use $48,235 to help purchase and install a grain dryer in Melville. The company farms corn, soybeans, and sugar cane. The new system is expected to save $1,579 per year.
- BB Facilities Company will use $49,402 to help install a 92.34 kW solar panel system to its self-storage and mini warehouse in Covington. This project is expected to save $12,058 per year
To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, contact the Louisiana USDA Rural Development Business Department or call (318) 473-7960.
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. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, 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.