News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017948
ContactEmily Cannon(207) 990-9175
(AUGUST 14, 2012) AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR PROJECTS TO BOOST RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION, REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Two Maine Businesses to Benefit
Washington, D.C., Aug 14, 2012 --

@@Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 106 projects in 29 states, Guam and Puerto Rico have been selected for funding to produce renewable energy and make energy efficiency improvements. Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill.

“The Obama Administration is helping agricultural producers and rural small business owners across the country reduce their energy costs and consumption,” Vilsack said. “This is part of the President’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, which involves expanding support for traditional as well as alternative energy sources. Stable energy costs create an environment for sustainable job growth in rural America.”

USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “I am very pleased USDA Rural Development can contribute these vital funds to assist Continuum Realty, LLC and Bass/Wilson Properties, LLC in projects that can have an impact on reducing emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. These forward thinking businesses are contributing to a future of greater energy independence in Maine.”

In Maine two businesses will benefit from REAP funding:

    Continuum Realty, LLC, in Lewiston has been selected to receive a REAP Guaranteed Loan in the amount of $52,000 for energy-efficient lighting and HVAC system upgrades to its facility in Lewiston. The project will help the borrower save 28,145 kWh in electricity and 2,118 gallons in natural gas annually. This loan is made in partnership with local lender Androscoggin Savings Bank.

    Bass/Wilson Properties, LLC, in Wilton, has been selected to receive a REAP Grant in the amount of $2,375 to study the feasibility of restoration and upgrade of an existing 1930’s hydro turbine and penstock allowing for a grid-tied modern turbine. Power generated will be used for reduction or elimination of present oil fired heating system and electrical demands of a commercial building.

REAP provides grants and loan guarantees for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs, use renewable energy technologies in their operations and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. For a complete listing of recipients announced today, click here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/rdREAPRecipientsAugust2012.pdf.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.   

   USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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