WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants for projects in all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.
“Lowering energy costs helps rural businesses improve their bottom line create jobs,” Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in America’s rural communities through strong partnerships because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $9.3 million through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. USDA will make additional funding announcements in the REAP program in coming weeks.
Recipients can use REAP funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.
This announcement includes, seven businesses in rural New Mexico that received funding to purchase energy saving systems.
New Mexico State director Arthur A. Garcia commented, “Ultimately, reducing energy use helps create a better economy in our rural communities, while at the same time we are all encouraged to be more energy efficient.”
Listed below are the REAP investments made for seven rural businesses in rural New Mexico:
- CIA Inc. an insurance company in Ruidoso will receive $9,236 to install a solar array system at that company’s building, which will save $1,849 in the company’s electric bill every year.
- Conley’s Lumber Mill in Española will receive $7,897 to install a solar array system at the lumber mill. By installing the solar power system, the company will save $1,857 per year in electricity, which is a 100 percent of the electricity used by the lumber mill for its business.
- Four Peaks Energy LLC of Sunland Park will receive $20,000 to upgrade its lighting, HVAC system, and Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) (connected to motors) insulation upgrades, and an environmental shade screen at the Camino Real Landfill Facility. This project will save $17,638 per year in electricity costs.
- Pamela N. MacArthur of Rancho De Taos will receive $2,811 to install a solar array system for her horse boarding facility. The solar array will save $529 per year in electricity costs, which is equal to 103 percent of the yearly energy usage for the business.
- Joseph J. Mathieu of Deming will receive $7,500 to install LED lighting and energy efficient windows at his Denny’s Restaurant. By installing the energy efficient systems $9,987 in electricity will be saved yearly.
- Roxie Properties LLC of Santa Rosa will receive $18,711 to install a solar array system at the El Rancho Motel. The new solar power array will save $5,122 per year in electricity costs for the business.
- Taos Veterinary Clinic PC of Taos will receive $ 11,021 to install a solar array system. By installing the solar panels, the business will save $3,796 per year in electricity or a 103 percent of the electricity used by the veterinary clinic.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
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 such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.