USDA announces grant recipients
Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development state director, announced Monday that four recipients have been selected to receive $62,000 in grants to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations. The funding is provided through USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program.
"These projects will produce cost savings and reduce energy consumption that will help preserve our natural resources," Schneider said. "Business operations will become more energy efficient while increasing profitability and promoting economic growth."
The energy program, REAP, seeks to provide funding to projects that incorporate energy-saving practices into business operations. One recipient will use the grant to help install geothermal equipment for heating and cooling needs. The other grants will assist in replacing old, inefficient grain dryers, which will provide energy and cost savings while preserving higher yields. The following is a breakdown of the award recipients:
* Heartland Heating and Cooling, Inc. (Courtenay, N.D.): $11,000 grant. The grant will assist with the purchase and installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system for the business' new office and shop. The system will produce 11,272 BTUs per year with an anticipated average annual savings of $2,800.
* Joshua Ihry: $20,000 grant. The grant will assist in the replacement of an existing grain dryer with a new energy-efficient dryer. This project is expected to produce annual energy savings of 52 percent.
* Jon Polries: $20,000 grant. The grant will assist in the replacement of an existing grain dryer with a new energy-efficient dryer. This project is expected to produce annual energy savings of 59 percent.
* Clark Slater: $11,000 grant. The grant will assist in the replacement of an existing grain dryer with a new energy efficient dryer. This project is expected to produce annual energy savings of 36 percent.
REAP, authorized through the 2008 Farm Bill, provides loans and grants for farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners to purchase and install renewable energy systems, make energy-efficiency improvements, conduct feasibility studies and energy audits. These federal dollars are leveraged with other funding sources for the projects. For more information, visit www.rurdev.usda. gov/nd.