USDA Rural Development is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and Puerto Rico to reduce energy costs for farmers, agriculture producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.
Four projects in Puerto Rico will receive a combined $53,000, the USDA revealed.
USDA is providing the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects and will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
The program helps increase U.S. energy independence by expanding the private-sector supply of renewable energy, said USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico Josué E. Rivera.
The four projects that will benefit in Puerto Rico are:
- In the town 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 town 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 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.
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, the USDA said.
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.