South Dakota USDA Rural Development recently partnered with Black Hills Power and Light based in Rapid City, SD to host four outreach seminars that provided participants with information on Black Hills Power energy efficiency rebates and incentives, customer service programs and services, and grants offered through the USDA’s Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The locations of the sessions include Belle Fourche, Sturgis, Hot Springs, and Custer. In addition, the Chamber of Commerce in each of the respective locations, along with the City of Sturgis, were active contributors at the events.
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.
One of the participants, GenPro, shared information on their service. GenPro’s goal is to recommend cost saving, energy efficient solutions that work for the recipient of their service. GenPro specializes in lighting replacements (with up to 80% energy savings) and solar and wind renewable systems. GenPro works with Black Hills Power and is a private lighting/solar/wind dealer. Rural Development is not promoting a specific dealer, but engaged in discussions regarding the advancement of solar powered equipment.
This event exemplifies the importance of partnerships and provides an avenue for increased awareness and marketing of our programs that assist communities and regions realize their long term goals.