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Serving: MN

9 Minnesota farms awarded USDA energy grants

Paula Mohr solar panels in corn field
ENERGY SAVINGS: USDA is awarding energy grants to farmers and small business owners. In Minnesota, nine farmers have been awarded grants and will use them to either buy grain dryers or solar panels.
Farmers will use grant funds to buy and install grain dryers and solar arrays.

USDA has awarded an investment of $118,000 in rural energy grants to nine Minnesota farms and small businesses to help them lower energy costs

“Modern rural infrastructure continues to be a priority for USDA,” says Cynthia Morales, USDA Rural Development acting state director. “[These] investments will help ag producers and rural small businesses save on energy costs and reinvest in their bottom line, while also implementing climate-smart technology, reducing their environmental footprint.”

USDA is financing $118,000 of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. The program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 1.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural Minnesota, which equates to enough electricity to power 172 homes per year.

Where the grants are going

Minnesota grant recipients are:

• Craig Hanson, Adams. Hanson is receiving a $20,000 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer on his farm. This project will save the farm $22,356 per year and will save 455,692 kWh of energy per year, which is enough electricity to power 42 homes.

• Michael Rupprecht, Lewiston. Rupprecht is receiving a $10,250 grant to purchase and install a 26.5-kW solar array. This project will save the farm $4,176 per year and will generate 36,639 kWh of energy per year, which is enough energy to power three homes.

• Schouvieller Farms Inc., Morgan. Schouvieller Farms will receive a $12,000 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. This project will save the farm $5,107 per year and will save 178,332 kWh of energy per year, which is enough electricity to power 16 homes.

• Theresa Trcka, Lonsdale. Trcka is receiving a $2,893 grant to help purchase and install a 12-kW solar array. This project will save the farm $2,227 per year and will replace 16,914 kWh per year, which is enough energy to power one home.

• Jeffrey Zenzen, Brooten. Zenzen is receiving a $15,007 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. This project will save the farm $7,548 per year and will replace 149,405 kWh per year, which is enough electricity to power 13 homes.

• J & J Hanson Farms Inc., Atwater. J & J Hanson Farms is receiving a $18,086 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. This project will save the farm $12,982 per year and will replace 277,626 kWh (55.62%) per year, which is enough electricity to power 25 homes.

• Jay Mackedanz, Hutchinson. Mackedanz is receiving a $17,325 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. This project will save the farm $20,283 per year and will replace 471,277 kWh of energy per year, which is enough electricity to power 43 homes.

• Jerome Stenzel, New Richmond. Stenzel is receiving a $9,000 grant to buy and install a grain dryer. This project will save the farm $6,780 per year and will replace 129,819 kWh of energy per year, which is enough electricity to power 11 homes.

• Sommers Farms LLC, Faribault. Sommers Farms is receiving a $13,531 grant to purchase and install a grain dryer. This project will save the farm $7,400 per year and will replace 198,289 kWh of energy per year, which is enough electricity to power 18 homes.

The energy projects are part of a larger USDA investment nationwide. The department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

Energy grants in other states

Examples of investments made in other states include:

• In North Dakota, Red Trail Energy LLC will use a $25 million loan to build a carbon-capture processing and storage facility at an ethanol manufacturing facility. The project will provide a 40% to 50% reduction in the carbon intensity score of ethanol the company produces. It also will enable the company to distribute ethanol to low-carbon fuel standard markets.

• Gulf Coast Solar LLC in Mississippi will use a $500,000 grant to make energy efficiency improvements at three wastewater treatment facilities in Hancock County. Funds will help the company design, build and install fixed-tilt, ground-mount solar photovoltaic equipment through a contract with LightEdison. The equipment will help replace 103% of electricity at LightEdison’s north location, 57% of electricity at its south location and 107% of electricity at the west location.

USDA is also financing $335 million of these investments through the Electric Loan Program. The loans will help build or improve 1,432 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $102 million for investments in smart-grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, contact your local USDA Rural Development office or visit the Rural Energy for America Program website.

Source: USDA Minnesota office, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

 

 

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