USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner (second from left) presents a certificate of congratulations to Ronald Ice (third from left) and his wife Gayle for the recent completion of construction of a solar power system at their farm; as Karen Paramanandam of SunPower by Positive Energy Solar looks on. Courtesy photo
ALBUQUERQUE ― USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner dedicated the new solar photovoltaic system recently installed at the Ice’s Organic Farm and Tea House in Alcalde.
While presenting a certificate of completion, Brunner said, “This project is a good example how the Obama administration has kept its promise to help small rural businesses become more energy efficient.” Brunner added, “Because this business is now more energy efficient it is more profitable because of the money being saved on its energy use.”
USDA Rural Development provided a grant in the amount of $11,541 which was used to offset the cost of building a solar power system at the farm. By installing the $46,000 solar array Ice’s Organic Farm and Tea House will save one-hundred percent of its energy usage.
The funding provided by USDA Rural Development’s was made by the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) program which assists ag-producers and small rural businesses access loan guarantees and grant funds to purchase renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements. The REAP program is not available for residential use and is only available for businesses in communities of less than 50,000 people, however there is no population limit for ag producers wanting to apply for this program. The program is not available to the individual home owner.
For those rural businesses, ranching and farming operations interested in accessing information on the REAP program visit USDA’s new energy website at: www.usda.gov/energy or call the Rural Development State Office in Albuquerque at 505.761.4957.
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.