Vermont farmers and businesses awarded $4.2 million in loans and grants from USDA

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Vermont farmers and businesses awarded $4.2 million in loans and grants from USDA

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 7:07am -- tim

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA Rural Development is providing loans and grants for 41 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Vermont under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The funding includes support for solar projects for businesses and anaerobic digesters for farms that will generate renewable energy. Maple producers will dramatically decrease energy costs with installation of new technology. A disused former train depot will be restored with full energy efficient improvements ready for new tenants.
‘These loans and grants will generate and save energy for Vermont’s farmers and businesses for many years to come, while promoting Obama Administration efforts to transition to a renewable energy economy,’ Vilsack said. ‘Farmers have significant opportunity to reduce their energy consumption or generate income by producing renewable energy that can be used by other consumers through USDA’s REAP program.’
The funding totals over $4.2 million and has pulled in more than $8.2 million in private and other public investment. The 41 projects are estimated to create 68 jobs and save 92 jobs.
‘More than ever our farms and small businesses are struggling with the high costs of energy, said Molly Lambert, State Director for USDA Rural Development. ‘These critical energy projects will help them grow their energy independence and their production.’
In Middlebury, Steve Dupoise of Trackside Depot, LLC will use a $29,913 grant and $44,869 loan to reduce energy usage through upgrades to insulation, windows, HVAC and lighting to the former Middlebury train depot, while restoring the building using state and federal historic preservation tax credits. ‘The old depot was a gorgeous building that hadn’t been taken care of,’ said Dupoise. ‘My business has been next door to it for years so when it came on the market last year I bought it. However, without the energy funding the retrofit expenses would have priced the building out of a reasonable rent for tenants.’ Dupoise said community reaction to the project is overwhelmingly supportive and he is currently negotiating with tenants.
Lisa Nash, a chiropractor in Westminster has been selected for a $28,200 renewable energy loan and $24,000 grant for a 10kW solar photovoltaic system, a 3 ton ground source geothermal heat pump and a wood stove. The installation of these renewable energy systems in her chiropractic office will produce a combined 30kWh of replacement energy.
Vermont Wood Pellet in North Clarendon will use a $100,000 loan and $50,000 grant to purchase and install a Drum Dryer unit for producing wood pellets.
In North Bennington, HRH Management, LLC’s $15,625 grant will help them purchase and install three energy efficient propane boilers, replacing inefficient oil fired boilers, for an annual fuel and labor cost savings of $94,608.
Four Hills Farm in Bristol will use a $575,000 loan and $500,000 grant for a 450 kW anaerobic digester system to generate electricity from manure for on-farm hot water and heat, and produce bedding for farm use and sale to nearby farms and nurseries. Similarly, Audet’s Cow Power in Bridport was awarded a $572,000 loan and $286,023 grant to increase its renewable energy generation with an additional 125kWh anaerobic digester system.
Addison Solar Farm in Ferrisburgh will install 5,200 individual 200-watt solar panels attached to a fixed ground mounting system. The 1 megawatt installation will be one of the largest solar electric generation farms in the Northeast. The project was selected for a $1.5 million guaranteed loan.
Further in Addison County, energy efficiency grants of $7,243 to Ledge Haven Farm in Orwell, $4,805 to Schoolhouse Maple #15, LLC in Starksboro, and $17,326 to William Heffernan in Bristol will be used to dramatically reduce fuel costs in maple syrup production through the installation of Reverse Osmosis Systems.
At Stonewood Farm in Orwell annual energy savings of 80% are predicted for the turkey processing facility which will use a $13,023 grant for an upgraded electrical system, power converter, and high efficiency refrigeration compressors with evaporator units.
Franklin County is the leading producer of maple syrup in Vermont. Ten maple syrup production businesses will dramatically reduce energy consumption and costs with purchase and installation of Reverse Osmosis Systems and equipment. Awarded are:
· Lawrence Sloan Jr., East Fairfield: $12,451 grant
· Howrigans Maple, Fairfield: $ 77,275 loan and $25,581 grant
· Matthew McNall, Fairfax: $5,305 grant
· Daniel Branon, Fairfield: $100,000 loan and $63,765 grant
· Shad Minor, East Fairfield: $16,917 grant
· Jeff Corey, Fairfax: $39,019 loan and $39,019 grant
· Hubert Spaulding, Sheldon: $4,111 grant
· Maplewood Dairy Farm, Fairfax: $23,429 grant
· Randy Farrar, Richford: $19,673 grant
· O. Douglas Collins/Stone Ridge Maples, Fairfax: $8,626 grant
Kane’s Cow Power, LLC in Enosburg was selected for a $575,000 loan and $444,737 grant to purchase and install an anaerobic digester system to generate electricity and produce farm bedding.
In Richford, RTW People’s Plaza will purchase and install a Solar Photovoltaic System for the business facility with a $36,194 renewable energy grant and $72,389 loan.
Five maple production businesses in Orleans County and four in Caledonia County have been selected for energy efficiency grants. 
· Todd Morey, Troy: $4,051 for purchase and installation of Reverse Osmosis System
· Lyman Gilman, Albany: $7,450 for Reverse Osmosis System with evaporator pre-heater
· Albert Patenaude, Derby Line: $8,646 for oil fired arch evaporator
· Paul Letourneau/Paul’s Sugarhouse, Derby: $6,785 for Reverse Osmosis System
· Roy G. Davis, Derby: $8,096 purchase and installation of Intens-O-Fire Evaporator System and Arch upgrade
· Paul Chandler, West Danville: $7,741 for SteamAway technology Evaporator system
· John Reynolds, East Hardwick: $14,379 for Reverse Osmosis System and Evaporator with SteamAway System
· David Allard, Lyndon: $5,909 for Reverse Osmosis System
· Messier Family Sugarhouse, LLC, Hardwick: $7,681 for Evaporator System
Nine maple production businesses around the state round up the awards:
· Matthew Wamsganz/Snow Hill Farm, Westford: $3,855 for Reverse Osmosis System
· Brett Ann Stanciu, Wolcott: $6,700 grant for Arch and SteamAway technology
· Clifford Maynard/Sterling Mountain Farms, Johnson: $13,562 grant for Reverse Osmosis System and system upgrades
· Lee Porter, Corinth: $13,690 grant for Reverse Osmosis System
· David Silloway, Randolph Center: $4,921 grant for Reverse Osmosis System
· Dwayne Braman, Moretown: $10,868 grant for Reverse Osmosis System
· Bruce Chappell, East Montpelier: $5,666 grant for Reverse Osmosis System
· Steve Baker, Wallingford: $14,958 grant for Reverse Osmosis System and Evaporator with SteamAway technology
· Gary Rapanotti, Springfield: $26,500 loan and $13,961 grant for Reverse Osmosis Systems and equipment.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
Source: USDA Rural Development Vermont,  Montpelier, VT, November 9, 2010 ‘