Federal grants are powering photo voltaic panel initiatives at a number of Mid-Missouri companies.
The USA Division of Agriculture introduced a $169,191 funding in Mid-Missouri Dec. 15, which shall be used to assist 9 companies cut back their carbon footprint and set up extra energy-efficient programs.
The grant cash, which ranges from $2,500 to greater than $38,000, will contact many companies, from a turkey farmer in California to dental places of work in Jefferson Metropolis and Fulton.
“Individuals in rural America are on the entrance strains of local weather change, and our communities deserve investments that may strengthen our nation’s resilience,” mentioned USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a information launch. “President Biden has created a street map for a way we will remedy the local weather disaster and increase entry to renewable vitality infrastructure, all whereas creating good-paying jobs and saving folks cash of their vitality prices. These investments underscore the dedication of the Biden-Harris administration to supply. funds and sources to rural folks and communities throughout the nation to assist drive financial safety and prosperity.”
For Donita’s Muffins & Catering, nonetheless, the $20,000 grant it was awarded didn’t offset the prices sufficient for the Jefferson Metropolis-based enterprise to pursue a renewable vitality challenge.
Donita’s Muffins & Catering was awarded $20,000 to buy and set up a 29.7 kilowatt photo voltaic array system, which is able to change practically 35 p.c of the corporate’s vitality use with renewable vitality and save the enterprise practically $3,086 yearly, in response to the USDA.
Supervisor Misty Schroeder mentioned the corporate scrapped the challenge after realizing it was out of pocket not less than $60,000 for the photo voltaic panels.
The common price for photo voltaic panels is $15,000-$20,000 for a typical five-kilowatt system, in response to the Heart for Sustainable Power, which means Donita’s Muffins & Catering is a complete price of $90,000 -$120,000 to exchange a 3rd of the vitality consumption.
“We simply felt the funding in it wasn’t value our return,” Schroeder mentioned, including: “We did not really feel there was sufficient cash to do a challenge of this magnitude.”
Schroeder mentioned he nonetheless encourages enterprise homeowners and residents to take a look at renewable vitality and potentialities for out of doors funding to assist add it to their companies.
“There are numerous potentialities however with something, you must see what works finest for what you are promoting and your state of affairs,” he mentioned.
Many initiatives funded by the USDA by way of the Rural Power for America Program are nearer to the $100,000 vary.
A hen farm in Pennsylvania that provides fertilized eggs for flu vaccine manufacturing, for instance, obtained about $98,500 to exchange 247,071 kilowatts of vitality yearly — sufficient to energy 22 properties yearly.
The USDA has spent a complete of $285 million serving to to fund roughly 844 initiatives supposed to assist farmers, agricultural producers and companies make vitality effectivity enhancements in 46 states to date.
Extra Mid-Missouri grant recipients embrace:
• $38,175 for Winn-Sapp Ventures, homeowners of Woody’s Pub & Grill in Ashland, to put in a photo voltaic array that may change 72 p.c of the restaurant’s annual vitality consumption;
• $32,486 for Cherry Hill Dental to put in photo voltaic arrays at its Jefferson Metropolis and Fulton places of work, which is able to change greater than 88 p.c of the corporate’s annual vitality use;
• $20,000 for William Tyler Dicus, a California turkey producer, to put in energy-efficient lighting, heating, air flow and insulation in two turkey barns, changing greater than 41 p.c of annual use in farm vitality;
• $20,000 for Rost Landscaping and Design in Columbia to buy and set up photo voltaic arrays that may change 83 p.c of the corporate’s annual vitality use;
• $20,000 for Danuser, a Fulton-based gear producer, to put in a photo voltaic array that may change greater than 76 p.c of the corporate’s annual vitality use;
• $12,375 for Truescape Properties, a Fulton actual property growth and administration firm, to put in a photo voltaic array that may absolutely transition the corporate to renewable vitality;
• $3,655 for John Humphreys, a grape producer in Fulton, who will set up a photo voltaic array that may fully transition his farm to renewable vitality; and
• $2,500 for Michael Shaefer Reworking, a building enterprise primarily based in Jefferson Metropolis, to put in a photo voltaic array that may change 92 p.c of the corporate’s annual vitality consumption.
Truescape Properties declined an interview request concerning the grant’s affect on the enterprise.
USDA continues its rural vitality efforts by making one other $300 million accessible by way of the Rural Power for America Program. The deadline to use for a portion of the funds is March 31, 2023 whereas functions for technical help grants are due January 31, 2023.