A Scarborough farm is among those entities that are being awarded a Rural Energy for America Program grant.

Eight businesses in Maine’s First Congressional District are getting REAP grants — through the USDA Rural Development — totaling $320,703, according to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. REAP assists rural farms and small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and in making energy-efficient improvements to their operations.

Goronson Farm in Scarborough was awarded $10,907, Pingree said. This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 19.935 kW solar array for Goronson Farm. This project will replace 30,265 kWh (over 100 percent) of business energy usage and realize $2,843 of savings annually.

“Small businesses and farms in rural areas serve as beacons in their communities. Their leadership can set an example for others, and this REAP funding helps make clean energy more accessible in small towns across Maine,” said Pingree. “As a member of both the House Agriculture and House Appropriations Committees, I’ve prioritized robust funding for REAP; this program is incredibly effective at bringing down business costs while simultaneously assisting the switch to renewable energy sources. I’m proud that Maine businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity.”

Other awards include: Union Farm Equipment, Union ($19,800); Craignair Inn by the Sea, Spruce Head ($12,011); Bench Dogs, Inc., Washington ($19,875); Q-Team, Inc., Naples ($15,998); Bradbury Mountain Metalworks, LLC, Pownal ($2,630); and Natural Selection, Inc., Brunswick ($21,240); Isle Au Haut Electric Power Co., Isle Au Haut ($218,242).

Earlier, Pingree had announced two additional REAP grants, totaling $21,343, in the First Congressional District, also including a farm in Scarborough.

One award went to Frith Farm, LLC, of Scarborough.This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 23.7 kW solar array for Frith Farm. This project will replace 28,346 kWh (100 purchas) of business energy usage and realize $3,922 of savings annually, Pingree said.

TMDE Calibrations of Richmond also received a grant.

When those grants were announced she said, “As a member of both the House Agriculture and House Appropriations Committees, I’ve advocated for federal funding that supports rural small businesses while simultaneously transitioning our communities to cleaner energy sources. Rural farms and small businesses offer a tremendous opportunity to fight climate change at the local level. I’m proud to have fought for this funding and look forward to the impact these grants will have on Scarborough and Richmond.”

Pingree sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which oversees discretionary funding for USDA programs like REAP. She is the author of the Agriculture Resilience Act, comprehensive legislation that sets a bold vision of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. agriculture by the year 2040, in part by boosting investments in on-farm and rural clean energy initiatives with programs like REAP.

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