HILO, Hawaii, Nov 13, 2013 -- Chris J. Kanazawa, USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific, announced the selection of four businesses in Guam and the CNMI to receive grants totaling $48,335 through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
"These awards clearly demonstrate the Obama Administration's effort to create a clean energy economy," said Kanazawa. "The REAP awards will enable owners of rural businesses, farms, and ranches to develop renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency to save thousands of kilowatt hours of energy annually."
Guam: American Printing Corporation - $24,170
The company will use the grant to purchase a 20 KwH photovoltaic solar, grid interconnected system which will be installed on the roof top of the company's commercial building along Chalan San Antonio in Tamuning. American Printing Corporation (APC) was incorporated in 1976 and is one of Guam's oldest and largest printing companies on island. The company, which remains family owned and operated offers a full range of printing and copying services. With the cost of power doubling, APC began looking for ways to control its power bill. APC's monthly power bill ranged from $4,000 to $5,000. "It's a lot of money," said APC co-owner and manager James Yu. "Guam has been our home for over 36 years and knowing we are saving energy while doing our part to save our envirnoment and to make Guam a greener place, is a rewarding feeling. Based on the projections of the solar energy system's capacity, American Printing expects its next power bill to be cut in half," Yu said.
Guam: Green Energy Solutions, Inc. - $17,250
Green Energy Solutions, Inc. (GESI) will use grant funds to purchase a 10KwH photovoltaic solar system that will be mounted on the roof of their office. GESI is a locally owned Guam company established in 2012. The company specializes in packaging affordable solar Photovoltaic and wind turbine power generation systems for homes and small businesses. GESI provides consulting, design, supply and installation and warrants every system installed. GESI's founder and President, Alfred Lam stated, "On Guam we're paying so much for the power bill, and I want to do something for Guam to save people's power bills." Both Lam and his Director and Field Operation Manager Patrick Quintanilla stressed the values of the company and how customers can capitalize on savings through the customizable systems GESI can build. "Bottom line is we want to create solar power systems that are affordable, and the people of Guam can enjoy it. That's basically our mission," Lam explained. The system is projected to generate approximately 13,113Kwh per year and save the company over $7,128 annually in electricity costs. "We will end up zeroing out on our utility cost! The solar system will also serve a dual purpose by allowing potential customers the opportunity to see firsthand, how the systems look, are designed, installed, and more importantly how they produce power," stated Lam.
Guam: Automated Energy Systems - $4,282
Automated Energy Systems (AES) will purchase a 1.6KwH Photovoltaic Solar System with an iPV dual axis tracking system which machnically adjusts the positioning of the solar panels in the direction of the sun to maximize system efficiency and output. AES is a locally owned company established since 2006. AES provides energy efficient lighting, solar hot water systems and roof insulation services and expanded into solar PV systems in early 2012. Company President Harvey Yu stated, "Solar PV systems are the wave of the future and while the technology is relatively new to the Guam market, it is a tried and true system and if designed correctly, could supplement one's entire power engery needs. Consumers often focus on the cost so we try and refocus their attention to the cost savings,"
Saipan: Servino & Associates, Inc. - $2,633
Servino & Associates, Inc. will purchase a 5KwH grid tied Solar PV system which will be used by the firm at it's office in Saipan. Servino & Associates has been serving the people of the Marianas since 1997 with office's in both Saipan and Guam. The company's president, Jose Servino, has over 50 years of electrical engineering experience and is also a Certified Energy Manager. "Electricity costs in Saipan are among the highest in the Marianas, and as a small business struggling to make ends meet, any savings we realize can make a world of difference to us," stated Servino. "Ultizing free energy from the sun makes all the sense in the world. Intitial costs can be discouraging, but the cost savings is well worth the investment in the long run,"concluded Servino.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) authorized through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, provides assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of projects. Offering both loan guarantees and grants, the REAP program helps eligible applicants install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or anaerobic digesters, make energy efficiency improvements such as installing irrigation pumps or replacing ventilation systems, and conduct energy audits and feasibility studies.
"Investment in these systems can be costly," said USDA Rural Development Area Director Joe Diego. "Rural Development offers an affordable mechanism to finance these systems, which can ultimately help businesses become more sustainable in the face of rising energy costs."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted that today's funding announcement is another reminder of the importance of USDA programs for rural America. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy. He said that's just one reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.
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.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 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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