Promoting Sustainability in East Jefferson County, WA
Your local business, farm or ranch may be eligible for grant funding for a renewable energy or energy efficiency system. For those who own a for-profit small business, farm or ranch in Jefferson or Clallam Counties, there is an upcoming opportunity to learn about who qualifies and how to apply for a USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to cover 25% of the cost of a renewable energy system or energy efficiency upgrades. Carlotta Donisi, business specialist with USDA Rural Development will be leading a workshop on February 17th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Chimacum Grange, 9572 Rhody Drive, Chimacum, WA. The workshop will cover grant and guaranteed loan information as well as grant writing assistance. Please RSVP to Carlotta.Donisi@wa.usda.gov.
In 2015, ALL REAP grant applicants in Washington State were funded including two businesses in Jefferson County (Finnriver Cidery, and Wallyworks Enterprise) and one in Clallam County (Dungeness Valley Creamery.)
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems such as solar or wind generation, as well as for energy efficiency improvements such as HVAC systems, insulation, lighting, cooling or refrigeration units, doors and windows, etc. See http://www.rd.usda.gov for more details.
Grants for up to 25% of the total eligible project cost are possible, as well as loan guarantees.
Previous grant awardees in the North Olympic Peninsula had this to say about the program:
Ryan McCarthey of Dungeness Valley Creamery noted “The solar PV system purchased with the assistance of the REAP program helped us decrease our energy costs and become more energy-independent.” He also stated: “Producing our own clean renewable energy not only reduces operating expenses, but it helps us communicate to our customers our passion and goals as a business. Being environmentally conscious and big picture thinking is integral to our long term sustainability.” See attached photos of the Dungeness Valley Creamery solar panel installation.
Eric Jorgensen of Finnriver Cidery commented: “Finnriver is extremely excited to be partnering with the USDA REAP program and a local solar installer to work on a major solar installation at our new facility. The advice and assistance we received from USDA program staff were very helpful in helping us submit our successful application. If you are considering any alternative energy improvements we highly recommend finding out if you might be eligible for this great program!” And Crystie Kisler of Finnriver added “It’s important for our community to explore alternative energy solutions and this grant offers us a way to bring more innovative projects into our area.”