Dave Conine, USDA Rural Development State Director, today announced USDA is investing $43,021 in three renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Utah.
“Renewable energy is a crucial component to growth in Utah’s rural communities.” Conine said. “These grants will help Utah producers and a business owner make improvements to ensure their work contributes to the economic vibrancy of our state well into the future.”
The funding is provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), created by the 2002 Farm Bill and 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.
The grant recipients in Utah include:
Chad Mortensen of Marion’s Variety in Roosevelt received a grant of $17,296 to replace windows and kitchen equipment with energy efficient models.
Jamie Pace of P&C Environmental, LLC, in Teasdale received a grant of $12,500 to develop a renewable energy system to pelletize woody biomass.
Kim Cutler of Double K Ranch in Lewiston received a grant of $13,225 to install a photovoltaic system to power an irrigation pump and reduce utility costs.
Today’s announcement is part of a larger REAP funding notice made today by USDA that more than $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects is being invested nationwide.
Since 2009, USDA has awarded $545 million to support more than 8,800 REAP projects throughout the country. 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.
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.