Roughly $63 million in loans + grants are being put into 264 new renewable energy + energy efficiency projects via the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), according to recent reports.
The projects in question are projected to generate or save roughly 207.8 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity — roughly the electricity needed to provide for the needs of 13,600 US households a year.
The Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, commented: “This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities. Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports home-grown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.”
Augusta Free Press provides some examples of the projects in question:
- Bradley Phillips, owner of AB Phillips & Sons Fruit Farm, is receiving an $18,000 grant to install a photovoltaic solar system on his farm in the village of Berlin Heights, Ohio. The system will generate nearly 13,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Phillips grows apples, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, cherries and grapes on a farm that has been in his family for more than a century.
- Blue Sky Poultry, of Bainbridge, Georgia, has been selected for a $16,094 grant to install a solar array on the roof of the poultry houses. The array is expected to generate 36,300 kWh of electricity per year.
- Stokes Farms, of Chatfield, Minnesota, is receiving a $19,750 grant to install a 10 kW wind turbine. When operational, the project is expected to generate 30,000 kWh of electricity per year.
- Lakeview Biodiesel, will use a $3.3 million loan guarantee to help acquire a Missouri biodiesel plant and make improvements to bring it online to produce enough biodiesel to run approximately 16,500 vehicles annually.
- In North Carolina, South Winston Farm, is receiving a $4 million loan guarantee to finance a 7 megawatt solar array system that is expected to generate enough energy to power 994 households per year.
Those eligible to make use of the REAP program are free to use the funds for: energy efficiency improvements, the installation of solar energy, wind energy, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric, hydrogen, or oceanic energy systems.
For those interested, the next application deadline for grants is November 12, 2015.