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USDA Announces 10 Alaskan Recipients Awarded Funding for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects


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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Oct. 30, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced USDA is awarding a total of $730,021 in grants and a loan guarantee that will help 10 rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations.  The funding comes through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and is for energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems.

   "Developing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural Alaska," Nordlund said.  "This funding will assist rural Alaskan businesses in saving energy dollars, which can be redirected to business expansion, job creation and increasing their bottom line."

"Through these types of programs, more rural business owners and agricultural producers are incorporating energy-saving measures into their business plans."

   USDA is providing $102 million in loan guarantees and $71 million in grants nationwide for 1,114 projects financed through REAP.  These projects are expected to generate and/or save 906 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy – enough to power more than 83,675 homes for a year and cut carbon pollution by an estimated 455 thousand metric tons.  That is the equivalent of taking more than 131,500 cars off the road for a year. 

   Congress created the REAP program in the 2002 Farm Bill. Because of the success of the program, Congress reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill with guaranteed funding of at least $50 million annually for the duration of the five-year bill. The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past seven years while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers.

   Funding of each award announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan guarantee or grant agreement.   The 10 Alaska recipients are:

Recipient                                                               Grant              Loan Guarantee         Project Type

  • Alpine Holdings, Inc.                                       $8,381             $0                                Solar

  • Copper Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc.    $44,916           $0                                Wind

  • Fireweed Mountain Lodge                               $15,406           $0                                Solar

  • Haines Brewing Company, Inc.                       $4,677             $0                                Solar

  • The Black Rapids Lodge                                  $15,513           $31,127                       Solar

  • The Nome Nugget                                            $6,696             $0                                Energy Efficiency

  • Tonsina River Lodge                                       $49,695           $0                                Solar

  • Upper Tanana Energy, LLC                             $500,000         $0                                Hydroelectric/Hydropower

  • Young's Timber, Inc.                                       $49,875           $0                                Solid Fuel Production

  • David Sczawinski                                            $3,735             $0                                Solar

(dba Pristine Products)

   A full list of recipients nationwide can be found at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RD_REAPAwardsOct2015.pdf.

   In addition to the grants announced today, USDA is reminding eligible recipients that the Department is accepting applications for future REAP funding. For application deadlines and details on how to apply, contact Renee Johnson, Director, Business Programs at (907) 761-7712, or: renee.johnson@ak.usda.gov. More information is on page 60349 of the October 6th Federal Register.

   Since 2009, USDA-Rural Development has invested nearly $2 billion in 225 rural Alaskan communities.  These investments in housing, community facilities, business, energy, water and sewer, telecom and electric have helped to grow rural Alaska’s economy and enhance the quality of life for its residents.  

 

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