Wayne Sonchar owner of B.T.U. Building Materials, Inc., right, accepts a certificate of completion from USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner for the installation of a solar power array on his business . Courtesy photo
ALBUQUERQUE ― Tuesday, August 25, USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner presented Wayne Sonchar the owner of B.T.U. Materials, Inc. in Las Vegas, New Mexico a certificate of completion to dedicate the solar power system recently installed at the business.
While making his remarks during the event Brunner said, “I congratulate B.T.U. Building Materials for being a good example how a solar power system can provide huge savings for a small business. By installing this solar power system the business will get a huge break on the cost energy and will recuperate its investment in a few years.”
B.T.U. Materials Inc. received a $48,645 grant through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) administered by USDA Rural Development’s Business Program.
The financial support was used to offset the cost to install the solar panels that are now being used by B.T.U. Materials, Inc. With the REAP grant funding the total amount to install the solar power system amounted to $194,583.
Now that the solar power system is operating, it supplies the majority of the electricity needed to run the business on a normal day.
REAP funding may be used by agricultural producer’s in both rural and non-rural settings. However, a small rural business’s project must be located in a rural area of fewer than 50,000 inhabitants.
The REAP funding pays up to twenty-five percent of the cost to install a renewable energy system such as: bioenergy, flexible fuel pumps, solar (small and large), photovoltaic or geothermal, wind-(small and large), anaerobic digesters, geothermal-electric generation and direct use hydropower and hydrogen systems.
Additionally, the program can also be used to offset the cost of installing energy efficiency improvements to a business ranch or farm such as the cost of replacing air conditioning, heating units and replacing diesel irrigation pumps with new efficient electric pumps.
For more information on how to qualify for the REAP funding program, click here, or call the USDA Rural Development State Office at 505.761.4953.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way―strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.