USDA invests $688,289 to support renewable energy, energy efficiency

earthThe USDA Rural Development office in Virginia announced $688,289 in grants for 11 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects statewide that it is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program.

“The recipients announced today have thought outside of the box to identify innovative ways to advance their business goals,” said Basil Gooden, Ph.D., USDA Rural Development Virginia State Director. “REAP helps rural businesses and agricultural producers save money, make their operations more energy efficient, and protect the environment – and all of these advantages that REAP affords also help the rural communities in which these small businesses and producers operate.”

The Virginia REAP projects announced today are expected to generate and/or save more than 2.25 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy – enough to power more than 200 homes for a year. The projects are part of anationwide USDA announcement that highlights renewable energy and energy efficiency loans and grants for 821 rural small businesses.

In Virginia, E2C Solar, LLC. will receive a $500,000 grant to install a solar energy system in Christiansburg on the campus of the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. The ground-mounted system, located adjacent to the medical center, will displace 17 percent of the hospital’s energy usage.

Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital in Woodstock received two awards. One award is for $9,363 and will help with energy efficiency improvements that include new lighting, air conditioning units and a heat pump, all of which is estimated to reduce energy usage by 11 percent. The other award is for $11,375 and will be used to install a 14 kilowatt solar system that will displace 20 percent of the animal hospital’s energy usage.

Funding for the projects announced today is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant agreement.

The next application deadline for REAP grants is October 31, 2016. USDA will issue a notice of available funding with more details on how to apply in the coming weeks.

Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen, and geothermal.

In 2015, USDA Rural Development invested more than $2 million in Virginia through 27 REAP grants. USDA Rural Development in 2015 invested more than $1 billion in rural Virginia through 40 loan, grant and loan guarantee programs in housing, business, agriculture, energy, health care and community facilities. It has employees stationed in 14 offices across the commonwealth to better serve residents where they live and to improve the economy and quality of life in rural Virginia.

 

List of grantees:

County Business Grant amount Description
Amelia Chandler Huling, Poplar Hill Farms $39,363 Funds will be used to help make energy efficiency improvements to three poultry broiler grower houses and is estimated to reduce energy usage by 48.9%.
Buckingham Daniel Myers $49,999 Funds will be used to help make energy efficiency improvements to four poultry broiler grower houses, including lighting, heating, insulation, ventilation, computer controllers, and energy efficient doors. This project is estimated to reduce energy usage by 55% and save enough energy to equate to the amount of electricity it takes to power 18 homes for one year.
Chesterfield Broadfork Farm, LLC. $8,660 Funds will be used to help install a 9kW PV Solar System to provide electricity and will displace 100% of the farm’s energy usage.
Madison DuCard Vineyards, Inc. $4,647 Funds will be used to help install a 6.76kW Solar PV System to provide electricity that will displace 32.89% of the business’s energy usage.
Montgomery E2C solar, LLC. $500,000 Funds will be used to help install a 1,290.24 kW solar system to provide electricity to a rural hospital that will displace 17% of its energy usage. The proposed system is projected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 193 homes for one year.
Montgomery Challenges Incorporated $16,670 Funds will be used to help install a 22.2 kW Solar PV System to provide electricity that will displace 40% of the business’s energy usage.
Orange Arrowpoint Farm $8,253 Funds will be used to help install a 10kw solar system to provide electricity that will replace 40.62% of the farm’s annual energy usage.
Powhatan Lazy River Farms $19,959 Funds will be used to help install a 20.1 kW solar system to generate 30,183 kW of energy that will be sold to the grid.
Rockingham VistaShare Holding, LLC. $20,000 Funds will be used to help install a 44 kW Solar PV System to provide electricity to a rural small business that will displace 83.28% of their energy usage. The proposed system is projected to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of five homes for one year.
Shenandoah Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital $9,363 Funds will be used to help with an energy efficiency improvement project that will replace lighting, A/C units, and a heat pump in the animal hospital. Improvements are estimated to reduce energy usage by 11%.
Shenandoah Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital $11,375 Funds will be used to help install a 14kW solar system to provide electricity to a rural small business that will displace 20% of their energy usage.