USDA assigns $163K to 5 Puerto Rico solar projects

Written by  //  September 19, 2014  //  Agriculture  //  No comments

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Grant recipient Hacienda Tres Ángeles was recently included in the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.'s agritourism program. Above, owner Juan Meléndez and Tourism Chief Ingrid Rivera meet during the certification ceremony.

Grant recipient Hacienda Tres Ángeles was recently included in the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.’s agritourism program. Above, owner Juan Meléndez and Tourism Chief Ingrid Rivera meet during the certification ceremony.

Five proposals from Puerto Rico requesting a combined $163,000 in funding have been selected to benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, to develop energy efficiency projects.

A total of 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide were announced Thursday, representing an investment of $68 million, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

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.

Puerto Rico’s list of recipients includes:

  • Iván Martinez-Cordero, who runs a dairy farm in Gurabo and will install a 35 kw Grid-Tie photovoltaic system to replace 80 percent of energy consumption currently provided from fossil fuel source. The project will receive a $38,000 grant.
  • José L. Pérez, who runs a dairy farm in Camuy, which will install a 40kw Grid-Tie photovoltaic system to replace 90 percent of energy consumption currently provided from fossil fuel source. The project received a grant of $44,000.
  • Hermanos Ruiz Inc., a dairy farm that will install a 28 kw Grid-Tie photovoltaic system to replace 78 percent of energy consumption currently provided from fossil fuel source. The project received a $26,000 grant.
  • Hacienda Tres Ángeles, a farm that will install a 40 kw Grid-Tie photovoltaic system to replace 100 percent of energy consumption currently provided from fossil fuel source. This project received a $35,000 grant.
  • Reinaldo Jiménez, who runs a dairy farm that will install a 18 kw Grid-Tie photovoltaic system to replace 76 percent of energy consumption currently provided from fossil fuel source. The project received a $20,000 grant.

“These loan guarantees and grants will have far-reaching impacts nationwide, particularly in the rural communities where these projects are located,” Vilsack said. “Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency will continue the unprecedented increase in home-grown energy sources and American energy independence we’ve seen in recent years. This is creating jobs, providing new economic opportunities and leading the way to a more secure energy future.”

REAP was created by the 2008 Farm Bill and was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill.

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