Nearly 300 South Dakota agricultural producers and small businesses have reduced their energy costs – and increased their bottom line - with help from local consultants. Mike Twedt and Larry Jensen have helped these recipients by providing energy assessments and technical reports needed to apply for the REAP – Rural Energy for America Program – through USDA Rural Development.
Mike Twedt, Professional Engineer and Owner of BTU Engineering in Brookings, SD, and Larry Jensen, Energy Assessor from DeSmet, SD, are valuable proponents of the Rural Energy for America Program.
Mike and Larry have been instrumental in getting the word out on the program and are involved in many of the projects that received grants or guaranteed loans. Mike has 24 years of experience giving him the opportunity to conduct over 400 energy audits. He is a registered Professional Engineer in South Dakota. BTU Engineering provides the technical services to support the REAP applications. They assist with Energy Audits, Technical Reports, and Feasibility Studies, in addition to energy efficient design optimization services. Larry Jensen provides expertise in performing Energy Assessments and Technical Reviews. Larry has over 42 years of experience in the electrical industry. He is now retired, but spent the last 26 years of his career as Operations Superintendent for an Electric Cooperative.
In South Dakota, some of the successful REAP applicants include agricultural producers, grocery stores, convenience stores, and lockers. Applicants have improved their energy efficiency by upgrading their grain dryers, LED lighting, coolers, and refrigeration units. Applicants have also produced their own renewable energy by installing solar voltaic systems, and wind turbines. The Rural Energy for America Program offers financial assistance to applicants looking to minimize their energy costs in the form of grants and guaranteed loans.