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On June 25, 2012, Congressman Mike Michaud announced that seven businesses in Maine’s second congressional district have received Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants totaling nearly $75,000. In the preceding week, Michaud and several of his House colleagues introduced legislation to reauthorize REAP programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.
“These REAP investments help small businesses across the state make necessary energy efficiency investments that save money in the long-run,” said Michaud. “I introduced the Rural Energy for America Act to renew important programs like REAP that help to advance new energy technologies and create jobs at home.”
REAP grants and loans help rural small businesses and agricultural producers energize energy efficiency programs and gain access to renewable energy sources. Since 2009, REAP programs have supported 29 projects in Maine with $1.2 million in grants and approximately $1.7 million in loans.
In each of the seven granted projects, Rural Development funds will be used to assist farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems, and in making energy-efficiency improvements to their operations. Businesses in Maine receiving assistance through REAP grants are as follows:
Bass/Wilson Properties, LLC of Wilton
The project will study the feasibility of restoration and upgrade of an existing 1930’s hydro turbine and penstock allowing for a grid-tied modern turbine. Power generated will be used for reduction or elimination of present oil fired heating system and electrical demands of a commercial building.
Inn of Acadia, LLC of Frenchville
This project is to upgrade the HVAC system of a 1956 year old building which will provide A/C and ventilation for increased comfort and air quality while reducing energy consumed. This project will create 10 jobs.
LaJoie Growers, LLC of Van Buren
This project will replace light fixtures, add light sensors and VFD’s to circulating pumps to reduce energy consumption and save on energy costs for their building. This will create 13 jobs.
IZE, LLC of Lewiston
This project is for the purchase and installation of a new natural gas system with a solar heating coil that will provide a more energy efficient heating and cooling system for a local, fresh foods market and bakery in Lewiston. Funding this project will save 1 job.
Denis Thoet d/b/a Long Meadow Farm of West Gardiner
This project will be for the purchase and installation of a renewable energy solar PV system at Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner, ME. From this project will save 4 jobs.
Hutchings Greenhouse, Inc. of Eddington
This project will assist with the acquisition and installation of an Envision Series Geothermal Indoor Split Heat Pumps system to reduce fossil fuel purchases, resulting in reducing energy costs and gallons of oil purchased. Will save 7 jobs.
Haley Construction, Inc. of Sangerville
This is an energy efficiency improvement project for the purchase and installation of a propane fired boiler. The new boiler will provide cost savings of $7,264 and BTU savings of 274 million BTUs per year at Haley Construction, Inc.’s Sangerville facility. The project will retain 15 jobs.
In its August 20, 2012 issue, Mainebiz reported that several other businesses around the state also received REAP funding. These included:
Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, for a biomass heating system;
Potts Harbor Lobster in Harpswell for a solar photovoltaic system at its lobster wharf;
Cozy Acres Greenhouse in North Yarmouth for a solar photovoltaic system and a new geothermal heating system;
Meadowmere Motel Corp. in Ogunquit for a solar photovoltaic system,
Forage market in Lewiston, to install a more energy-efficient heating and cooling system.
The total value of these additional projects was just under $108,000.