North Yarmouth, ME, Sep 06, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O’Brien today announced more than $340,000 in grants to help 10 Maine farms and businesses implement renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“I am pleased to have an opportunity to make this important announcement of USDA Rural Development’s investment through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP),” O’Brien said. “This critical funding will help strengthen 10 diverse Maine businesses. It will help them reduce operating costs, lessen carbon emissions, and help keep Maine pristine and clean for residents and visitors alike.”
O’Brien announced the grants during a visit to Cozy Acres Greenhouse with Rep. Chellie Pingree and USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Virginia Manuel. Cozy Acres received a $48,750 REAP grant in FY 2012 to install a solar photovoltaic and geothermal system. When the geothermal system is complete, Cozy Acres will become the first Net Zero greenhouse in Maine. The new greenhouse will produce herbs and vegetable transplants 12 months a year. Cozy Acres owner Jeffrey Marstaller anticipates the greenhouse will save his business $13,206 annually.
The 10 Maine businesses and agricultural producers that are being selected to receive REAP grants are listed below. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
• Americas’ Wood Company, in Washington, has been selected to receive a $15,000 grant to install a12.72 kWh photovoltaic grid tie system. This system will produce 75 percent of the company’s energy needs.
• Amy Sprague (dba Wolf Pine Farm), in Alfred, has been selected to receive a $4,842 grant to install 28 solar panels attached to the barn to offset current power consumption. The estimated energy savings is 7,702 kWh.
• Artisan Boatworks, Inc., in Rockport, has been selected to receive an $8,000 grant to install a 10kWh grid tie photovoltaic system. The estimated energy savings is 14,241 kWh.
• McLaughlin Seafood, Inc., in Bangor, has been selected to receive a $4,134 grant to install a biomass (vegetable oil) fueled hot water heater. The estimated energy savings is 131 million BTU’s.
• Lincoln County Publishing Company, in Damariscotta, has been selected to receive a $20,000 grant to install a 55 kWh solar photovoltaic grid-tie consisting of three arrays of 208 solar panels. The estimated energy savings is 32,622 kWh.
• Lafayette Boothbay, LLC., (dba Tugboat Inn), in Boothbay Harbor, has been selected to receive two grants totaling $36,722:
o $20,000 grant to install a 148-panel solar photovoltaic system. The system will be grid-tied and used to offset current power consumption and assist during peak usage in Boothbay Harbor. The estimated energy savings is 51,700 kWh annually.
o $16,722 grant to install an 80-panel solar photovoltaic system. The system will be grid-tied and used to offset current power consumption and assist during peak usage in Boothbay Harbor. The estimated energy savings is 23,819 kWh annually.
• P&M Enterprises, LLC in Rockwood, has been selected to receive a $6,495 grant to insulate a lodge and modify air handling equipment. The estimated energy savings is 282 million BTU’s annually.
• My Abram, LLC, in Greenwood, has been selected to receive a $235,000 grant to install a 256 kWh solar photovoltaic system consisting of 869 solar panels, three inverters and one monitoring system.
• Thompson Cottages, Inc., in New Harbor, has been selected to receive a $4,000 grant to install a propane-fired boiler. The new boiler will reduce energy costs by $7,264 and save 274 million BTUs per year at Haley Construction, Inc.’s Sangerville facility.
• Quoddy Bay Lobster, Inc., in Pembroke, has been selected to receive a $7,230 grant to upgrade refrigeration units, replace an oil-fired boiler with a propane boiler, add insulated skylight panels and upgrade the lighting and electrical panel.
O’Brien, Rep. Pingree and Rep. Michael Michaud also toured the Coastal Farms rural food hub in Belfast.
Following the visit to Coastal Farms, O’Brien and Pingree met in Rockland with approximately 50 municipal leaders, business owners, agricultural producers and other key community partners to discuss local economic development needs.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than
$828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 62 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. USDA Rural Development invested a total of $402.5 million in Maine communities last Fiscal Year. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).