USDA Rural Development State Director Dave Conine today announced that USDA is investing in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.
“Energy independence is especially important in rural areas of Utah. The grants announced today will have long-lasting, positive impacts on the environment and improve the energy efficiency of the businesses they serve,” Conine said.
Three of the four awards are to assist with the installation of solar array systems to reduce energy costs: $78,120 to Lary & Dean Carter Ranch Family, LC, of Beaver County; $5,860 to Thalman Orthodontics, PC, of Sevier County; $38,285 to Live Earth Products, Inc., of Emery County.
A grant of $6,703 is awarded to Al & Lid Furniture and Appliancs of Tooele County to assist the small business in making energy efficiency improvements to their operations by replacing the business’ lighting.
Today’s funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP was created by the 2008 Farm Bill and was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. Recently USDA Secretary Vilsack announced $68 million in REAP loan guarantees and grants. Funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
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.
Since the start of the Obama Administration, REAP has supported more than 8,800 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. During this period, USDA has provided more than $276 million in grants and $268 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners.
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.