Five Puerto Rico farms will receive about $208,000 combined to develop on-site photovoltaic solar systems to slash their energy bills through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, the agency announced.
Setas de Puerto Rico Inc. received the highest amount, at $100,406.25 to build its solar farm, while Finca Luna Inc. received $19,825, José González/Vaqueria El Granero, got $18,750, Carlos González/Finca González garnered $20,000, while Samuel Morales/Granja Avicola received $49,650 for photovoltaic projects.
All are expected to reduce their energy consumption by between 75 percent and 97 percent, USDA said.
“As part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, USDA continues to work with America’s farmers, ranchers and rural businesses to help them save energy and improve their bottom line,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “This program and others like it would not be available without a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, and again I urge members of Congress to pass a bill when they return to Washington next month.”
Farmers, ranchers, business owners and agriculture producers in 41 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will split a total of more than $21 million to develop energy projects nationwide. Grant recipients were announced earlier today.
The REAP program offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources for businesses.
REAP also helps the conservation of natural resources and the development of new forms of energy that reduces America’s dependence on fossil fuels and creates a stronger rural economy.