Unity farm to receive federal REAP grant for solar array

Eleven other business to share in $156,000 investment in rural Maine
Jun 13, 2019

Songbird Farm in Unity is among 12 rural small businesses in Maine that will receive USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants to assist with renewable energy development.

USDA Rural Development Rural Business and Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand announced the recipients today at Andy’s Agway (another of the recipients) in Dayton.

“I am so pleased that USDA Rural Development can be a part of supporting Andy’s Agway and 11 other rural Maine businesses,” Brand said. “Maine business owners are the champions of economic development in rural communities, and these grants will support jobs and help ensure our rural communities are prosperous places to live.”

The combined grants to Maine small businesses total $156,000.

Andy’s Agway invited customers to celebrate alongside the family-owned agribusiness today. Andy’s Agway received a REAP grant in the amount of $14,215 to install solar renewable energy at its business, replacing all of its fossil fuel energy needs.

ReVision Energy of Liberty, the contractor that is assisting with the development and installation of the systems, was on hand to educate the public on solar renewable systems.

Songbird Farm LLC will receive a REAP grant of $4,746. This Rural Development investment will be used to purchase and install a 13.44 kW solar PV array to benefit this small business.

Songbird Farm is a small certified organic mixed vegetable and grain farm. Its products are sold primarily to wholesale markets, local natural food stores and co-ops, and a regional distributor. This project will save $1,534 per year and generate 15,845 kWh annually.

The other recipients are:

- Andy’s Agway in Dayton will use its grant to purchase and install a 24.96 kW solar PV array to benefit this family owned business. Andy's Agway supplies the local area with livestock feed, hay, animal bedding and pet food and supplies along with farm equipment, gardening tools and vegetable and flower seedlings. This project will save $2,700 per year and generate 28,861 kWh annually, replacing all of the business energy needs.

- Avena Botanicals in Rockport will receive a REAP grant of $14,385. This  investment will be used to purchase and install a 15.36 kW solar PV array to benefit this small business. Avena Botanicals is an herbal apothecary that grows and produces botanical products along with providing training in traditional herbal medicine. This project will save $3,256 in savings per year and generate 20,932 kWh annually, replacing all of the business energy needs.

- 650 Cape Road Holdings LLC in Standish will receive a REAP grant of $11,371. This investment will be used to purchase and install a 20.16 kW solar PV array to benefit this small business. 650 Cape Road Holdings is a real estate holding company owning and leasing property. Tower Publishing, a leading independent publisher of legal and business books in the New England area, will benefit from this solar installation. This project will replace 16,353 kWh (77%) and save $2,584 year.

- Chloe Allegra Holding LLC, dba Modernist Pantry, in Eliot will receive a REAP grant of $5,568. This investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 41.6 kW roof-mounted solar array. Chloe Allegra Holdings LLC is a real estate holding company that owns Modernist Pantry, which supplies hard-to-find ingredients and culinary tools for everyone. This project will replace 416,526 kWh (95%) and realize $8,375 in savings per year.

- Shawnee Peak Holdings LLC in Bridgton will receive a REAP grant of $12,991. This investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 20.48 kW roof-mounted solar array. Shawnee Peak Holdings owns and operates Shawnee Peak, a ski recreational facility in operation for more than 80 years. This project will save $3,675 in savings per year and generate 22,971 kWh annually, replacing all the business energy needs.

- Foreign Autoworks Inc. in Kittery will receive a REAP grant of $15,761. This investment will be used to purchase and install a 24.09 kW solar PV array to benefit this small business. Foreign Autoworks has been providing automobile and light truck repairs services for over 43 years in Southern Maine. This project will save $3,924 per year and generate 27,149 kWh annually..

- Fogtown Brewing Co. LLC in Ellsworth will receive a REAP grant of $9,750. This investment will be used to purchase and install a 17.4 kW solar PV array to benefit this small business. Since 2017, Fogtown Brewing has been crafting its own variety of beers using Maine-grown berries, hops and oats and hosting community-friendly entertainment. This project will replace 20,768 kWh (76percent) and generate $3,634 in savings per year.

- Lee S. Wilbur & Co., in Southwest Harbor, will receive a REAP grant of $13,475. This investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 21.56 kW roof-mounted solar array. Since 1973, Lee S. Wilbur & Co. has been producing high-quality custom yachts. This project will replace 26,429 kWh (54percent) and realize $4,229 in savings per year.

- 32 Lovers Lane LLC in Cushing will receive a REAP grant of $20,000. This investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 67.62 kW ground-mounted solar array. 32 Lovers Lane is a real estate holding company. This project will realize $13,533 in savings per year and replace 90,223 kWh (99percent), which is enough electricity to power eight homes.

- 487 Development Corp. LLC in Pittsfield will receive a REAP grant of $13,378. This investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 34.2 kW roof-mounted solar array. 487 Development Corp. is a real estate holding company providing rental spaces and services that reduce risk for local businesses, assist in developing quality jobs, demonstrate environmental leadership and strives to strengthen their local community's economic health. This project will replace 33,908 kWh (47%) and realize $5,086 in savings per year.

- JR Fabrication, located in New Portland, will receive a REAP grant in the amount of $20,000. This investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 42.24 kW roof-mounted solar array. JR Fabrication produces custom metal parts, components and products. This project will realize $10,458 in savings per year and replace 50,178 kWh annually.

The REAP Program can assist rural businesses in many ways, including energy audits and renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. They also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.

For more information on the REAP Program, contact Cheryl Pelletier at 764-4157 or email Cheryl.Pelletier@usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit rd.usda.gov/me.

 

 

 

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