Tag Archives: USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants

Sustainable Women Series: Sustainable Brewing: A Small, Solar-Powered Company in the Business of Beer

By Tali Haller, HeatSpring Blog

Throwback Brewery’s solar array, with a payback of just five years, was funded by a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant, available to small rural businesses, a New Hampshire solar incentive, and a loan.

Throwback Brewery

In 2010, co-Founders Annette Lee and Nicole Carrier opened their brewery in North Hampton, New Hampshire with the vision to create 100% locally-sourced beers, as well as to promote other aspects of sustainable business. Almost six years later, they’ve created a thriving brewing community, a successful sustainable business, and a new array of solar panels that cuts down their electricity bills by more than 50% . . .  Learn more about Throwback Brewery’s solar project, advice for small businesses going solar, and the Brewery’s other sustainable initiatives in this Sustainable Women Series interview with Annette and Nicole.

Nebraska Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Contact
Jeff Carpenter, State Energy Coordinator
USDA Rural Development
100 Centennial Mall North, Suite 308
Lincoln, NE 68508
Telephone: (402) 437-5554
Email: jeff.carpenter@ne.usda.gov
Website: www.rd.usda.gov/ne

USDA To Help 20 Rural Nebraska Small Businesses Boost Renewable Energy Use, Save On Energy Costs

USDA News Release. Posted on KTIC Radio’s Website

usdalogo

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced funding for 821 projects across the nation that will help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. Twenty Nebraska recipients received nearly $198,000 for energy projects.  The funding is available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will be used to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. Click here to read more, including the Nebraska awards by county. 

Grand Rapids brewery to make beer with solar power

By Shandra Martinez, MLive

brewery

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Brewery Vivant is tapping the sun to produce its beer. There are now 192 solar panels on the above Grand Rapids brewery and adjoining pub. The 54Kw rooftop system is expected to produce 20 percent of its energy needs. The rest will come from renewable energy purchased through Consumers Energy and its Green Generation program. Continue reading.

Image: Brewery Vivant owners Kris and Jason Spaulding by the pub’s new rooftop solar panels. (Courtesy photo)

ALSO IN THE NEWS
Duke Energy’s military solar project in Indiana moving forward, Charlotte Business Journal
USDA releases energy grants for 33 Iowa farms, businesses, Sioux City Journal
Bishop Richard Pates: Politicians should note Iowa’s action on climate, Des Moines Register – Opinion
Development of renewable energy is worthy of our support, Tri-State Neighbor – Opinion
2 gaming companies to leave Nerada Power staring Oct. 1, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Is Burning Trees Still Green? Some Experts Now Question Biomass, Iowa Public Radio 

News Release: USDA to Help 821 Rural Small Businesses Boost Renewable Energy Use, Save on Energy Costs

usdalogo

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for 821 projects across the nation that will help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and will be used to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems . . . USDA is providing $43.2 million in loan guarantees and $11.6 million in grants through REAP for projects in every state. Read the entire release here.

Farms flexing solar power

Hammond Farm.1

Rick Hammond has flipped the switch on his new 25-kilowatt solar array, which will power his farm operation west of Benedict. Photo by Matt Ryerson/Lincoln Journal Star

By Nicholas Bergin / Lincoln Journal Star

Excerpt
BENEDICT – On Rick Hammond’s farm, between the gravel road on its east edge and the grain bins where he will store this year’s corn harvest, sit 96 solar panels mounted on two rows of gray metal frames . . . He is one of a growing number of Nebraska farmers, homeowners and businesspeople who have sharpened their pencils, done some math and found small-scale solar arrays will save them money while reducing their carbon footprint . . . Putting up a solar system takes a fair amount of cash up front. Hammond’s array cost $84,864, but a combination of a USDA grant and federal tax credits brought the cost to him down to $19,100. [With payback “in just over six years” and solar modules typically lasting 25 or more years, the Hammond Farm will benefit from free energy for a very long time].

Read more here.

Ways to reduce the cost of a solar system:

  • USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant covers 25% of the durable-asset investment. (See previous post for more information).
  • Federal Tax Credit of 30% for qualified installations
  • Accelerated depreciation for businesses
  • Self-Employment Tax Credit

SEE “SOLAR EXAMPLES” TO VIEW PHOTOS OF MORE SOLAR-POWERED NEBRASKA FARMS 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Houston Chronicle: Solar power gaining popularity among Nebraska farmers