Fifteen Nebraska applicants have been selected to receive $146,000 in grants from USDA Rural Development through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Funds will be used to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements that will promote energy conservation.
“Through these projects, energy consumption will be reduced, thereby making more dollars available to be kept within rural Nebraska and assisting the state’s rural economy,” said Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development.
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. Additional information on the Rural Energy for America Program may be found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency/ne.
Detailed below by county are the energy projects selected from Nebraska’s allocation of funding. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreements.
Willow Run Farms – Brunswick - $12,224 – Converting four diesel irrigation engines to electric motors.
Adam’s Corner Market – Gibbon – $19,841 – Replacing coolers in a rural grocery store.
Luth, David – Ravenna – $2,964 – Converting a diesel irrigation engine to electric motor conversion and install underground wiring.
D & S Market, LLC – Crawford – $10,094 – Replacing 19 freezer doors in a rural grocery store.
Genesis Enterprises, LLC – Allen – $2,521 – Installing a six kW Photovoltaic Solar System.
Nelson Land & Cattle Co. – $11,840 – Converting four diesel irrigation engines to electric motors.
Johnson, Amanda – Hayes Center – $16,351 – Converting a diesel irrigation engine to an electric motor, installing a variable frequency drive, underground wiring and a water pipeline.
Unger, Gerald – Hayes Center – $17,653 – Converting two diesel irrigation engines to electric motors, installing underground wiring, and headshafts.
Moser, Edward – Creighton - $6,596 – Converting a diesel irrigation engine to an electric motor.
Feeney Farm, Inc. – Maxwell - $4,305 – Converting a diesel irrigation engine to an electric motor, installing a pump panel and underground wiring.
Frame, James – Hershey - $12,434 - Converting three diesel irrigation engines to electric motors, installing headshafts, pumps, pump panels, and underground wiring.
J & L Livestock & Supply, Inc. – Hershey - $17,154 – Converting two diesel engines to electric motors and installing underground wiring.
Ozzie’s, Inc. – Sutherland - $2,858 – Replacing 16 Metal Halide Canopy Lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lights at a rural gas station.
Verbeck Farms, Inc. – Funk - $3,479 – Converting a diesel irrigation engine to an electric motor and installing underground wiring.
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. For additional information on the USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program, contact Jeff Carpenter, firstname.lastname@example.org; (402) 437-5554.
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.