Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced that USDA is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.
“Lowering energy costs helps businesses improve their bottom line and create jobs,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increase economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses.”
USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico Josué E. Rivera stated that USDA is providing grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The program helps increase U.S. energy independence by expanding the private-sector supply of renewable energy. Puerto Rico is receiving four grants in this announcement
• In the City of Arecibo, Javier Segarra Oyola Inc. will use a $18,138 grant to purchase and install a 30.69 PV Solar System. This project will save $11,879 per year and replace 49,497 kWh of electricity per year (96%) which is enough electricity to power four homes.
• Agropek LLC in the City of Peñuelas will use a grant of $4,558 to purchase and install a 5.6 kW photovoltaic solar system. This project will save $1,743 per year and replace 8,729 kW of electricity per year (80%)
• Hacienda Agrícola de Comerío Inc. is receiving a $11,061 grant to purchase and install a 27 Kw Solar System. This project will save $6,699 per year and replace 27,000 kWh of electricity per year (70%).
• Covery Mas Cover Inc. in the city Arecibo is receiving a $19,875 grant to purchase and install a 31.6 kW Solar System. This project will save $48,387 year in energy costs and replace 46,062 kWh of electricity per year (46%), which is enough electricity to power four homes.
Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in REAP. Recipients can use the grants for renewable energy systems such a biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. They also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.
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.