News Release
Release No.STELPRD4007278
ContactKevin Tuttle715-345-7615 x154
Milton, WI, Dec 09, 2010 --


Kevin Tuttle, Public Information Coordinator

Cell: 715-345-7615 x154 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local Business Running on Solar Power

MILTON, WI – DECEMBER 9, 2010 - - - A local small business has gone green in supplying their electricity, thanks in part to a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant, through USDA Rural Development. Mike Striegl Custom Cabinetry and Furniture, LLC recently completed installation of 60 solar panels and two inverters to power their business. The solar power will not only supply all their power needs, but also allow the sale of excess power to the utility, Alliant Energy.

The program incentives that made this project feasible for this small business owner included the REAP grant for $19,837 and a Focus On Energy grant for $16,826 toward the total project cost of $79,350.

“This project is a wonderful example of what the Rural Energy for America Program can do for businesses in rural Wisconsin to rely less on foreign energy sources and natural resources to power their facilities,” said Brenda Heinen, USDA Rural Development Rural Energy Coordinator. “Utilizing solar energy will decrease the overall cost to the company, while even producing energy above and beyond their needs. Congratulations to Mike Striegl for his determination and initiative in making this project a success.”

The REAP provides loans and grants to small businesses and agricultural producers in rural areas.  Grants can fund up to 25 percent and loans up to 75 percent of the total project costs.  In Fiscal Year 2010, the program awarded $3,189, 648 in funding for 69 projects in Wisconsin.

USDA Rural Development is helping to lead the way in the agriculture sector finding energy solutions in our fields and helping rural residents and communities access renewable energy systems and use energy more efficiently. USDA Rural Development provides funding opportunities in the form of payments, grants, loans, and loan guarantees, for the development and commercialization of renewable energy sources including wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen, ocean waves, hydroelectric, biomass, and biofuel (ethanol, biodiesel, etc.) to change the way people power their homes, businesses, and industries. By making renewable energy sources commercially viable, USDA Rural Development is also creating sustainable opportunities for wealth, new jobs, and increased economic activity in rural America.

 USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As the lead federal agency for rural development needs, USDA Rural Development returned over $850 million dollars this past year to rural Wisconsin communities. Funds are used to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technological infrastructures. Further information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting the web site at

For questions on the Rural Energy for America Program in Wisconsin, please contact Brenda Heinen, Rural Energy Coordinator, at 715-345-7615, ext. 139.