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Caribbean Produce Exchange gets $1M USDA grant for renewable energy system

The project will achieve $279,054 per year in savings for the company.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding more than 700 clean energy projects to lower energy bills, expand access to domestic biofuels, and create jobs and new market opportunities, including a $1 million grant to Caribbean Produce LLC.

This Rural Development investment will support the small food distribution company in purchasing and installing a 481 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) solar system, aiming to lower its energy bills and contribute to environmental sustainability.

The project is expected to save Caribbean Produce $279,054 annually and replace 930,181 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, which represents about 25% of its energy usage. This amount of electricity is sufficient to power 85 homes, according to the USDA.

The grant awarded to Caribbean Produce is under the REAP, which supports agricultural producers and rural small business owners in making energy efficiency improvements and adopting renewable energy technologies such as wind, solar, geothermal and small hydropower.

“As we celebrate Earth Day this year, we’re excited to partner with hundreds more family farms and small businesses to address the impacts of climate change, grow the economy and keep rural communities throughout the country strong and resilient,” said USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres-Small.

In all, USDA is providing $238 million in funding through REAP and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). 

The USDA continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30. The funding includes a dedicated portion for underutilized renewable energy technologies, it stated.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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