On August 20, it was announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $919,474 in grant funding to farmers, producers and small businesses in New Hampshire, and $772,881 to those in Vermont, under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Funds will be used to improve energy efficiency and create renewable-energy systems in the two states.
USDA Rural Development State Director, Anthony Linardos, issued a statement commending the investment. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency are at the heart of keeping New Hampshire and Vermont farms and businesses competitive and productive during the COVID-19 pandemic and well into the future,” he said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, the USDA is focused on helping them succeed, and this investment highlights that commitment.”
Positively impacted businesses include:
- DCI Furniture in Grafton, NH, recipient of a $250,000 grant to fund the installation of a 300HP combined heat-and-power biomass boiler system;
- Foster Farm Botanicals in East Calais, VT, awarded $43,600 to install a 74.4kW ground-mounted solar array that provides almost all of its electrical load;
- Ridgeline Maple Works in Jeffersonville, VT, which received $20,000 to purchase and install high-efficiency maple syrup production equipment;
- Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, NH, beneficiary of an $18,875 grant to install a roof-mounted solar array that will generate 35,080kWh annually;
- Green Power Farms in Wardsboro, VT, which will use a $131,250 grant to install three 30kW wind turbines estimated to generate 330,000kWhs annually; and
- Patch Forest, LLC, in Lebanon, NH, recipient of $14,272 to implement a reverse- osmosis system for its maple syrup operation, reducing energy needs by 53%.
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. Contact: Kevin.Lambert@usda.gov.