USDA Rural Development has announced a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant for Bremen industry, Headsight, Inc. The funds, will install photovoltaic solar panels to replace an estimated 26,883 KWH annually with a payback of 25 years.
Headsight, Inc., which designs header controls for combines in agricultural applications, will be acknowledged during a brief presentation today at their facility located at 4845 3B Road in Bremen.
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The Rural Energy for America Program offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources for businesses.
Investments from programs like REAP help support the true engine of America’s economic growth – a thriving middle class. REAP is one of many USDA programs and initiatives to support an expanded domestic energy economy. In addition to helping to increase renewable energy production, USDA makes investments in the bioeconomy, provides support for the emerging biobased products industry, supports new technologies, and supports energy efficiency improvements.
REAP funding has helped farmers expand renewable energy use in recent years. The new Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms utilizing renewable energy production has doubled in the last five years. More than 57,000 farms reported using a renewable energy system in 2012, while 23,451 operations reported doing so in 2007. Solar panels accounted for 63% of renewable energy systems on farms, with 36,331 farms reporting their use.
REAP funding is an example of the many ways that USDA is helping revitalize rural economies to create opportunities for growth and prosperity, support innovative technologies, identify new markets for agricultural producers and better utilize our nation’s natural resources.
Under REAP, up to 25 percent of an eligible renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement project can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan guarantee. Since the start of the Obama Administration, REAP has helped fund more than 8,250 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.
During the Obama administration, USDA Rural Development has provided over $28 million in REAP funding in Indiana.
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.