USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Sallie Clark announced that four entities in Colorado received a total of $432,000 in Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funding today. Nationwide, USDA is investing $237 million to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs.
“Providing funding for alternative sources of renewable energy is the focus of the REAP program. These grants will help entities in Colorado increase the supply of renewable energy and over time, these investments will help lower the energy costs for the small businesses,” said Clark. The four entities receiving funding through this announcement are:
- Saint Columbia Solar, LLC in Durango, CO was awarded a $49,845 grant for a solar energy system that will generate energy equivalent to offsetting the annual electrical usage of nearly 12 homes. All the power generated will be sold through a 25-year power purchase agreement to the Saint Columbia School. The school anticipates an annual cost savings of $2,590.
- First Southwest Bank in Alamosa, CO was awarded a $25,558 grant for a solar energy system that will replace nearly 64% of the bank's annual electrical needs. This project will provide an annual cost savings of $9,658 on the bank's electrical bill.
- Gilcrest II, LLC was awarded a $250,000 grant to 2 MW solar energy system. The applicant will sell all the power through a S*RC Producer Agreement with Xcel Energy, which will in turn provide affordable and clean renewable energy to local electrical users. The energy being generated is equivalent to offsetting the annual electrical usage of 315 homes.
- Sunday, LLC was awarded a $106,597 grant for a solar energy system. The applicant will sell all the power through a 25-year power purchase agreement to the Sanitation District of the City of Cortez, Colorado. Based on today's electric rates, this project will save the sanitation district upwards of $25,000 over the life of the project. The energy being generated is equivalent to offsetting the annual electrical usage of 31 homes.
Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.