USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner is traveling to Silver City, New Mexico Tuesday to tour the newest solar power system partially funded USDA RD. Custom Steelworks located at 305 South Bullard has installed a solar power array to offset the cost of its electricity bill with a $9,655 grant from USDA RD to offset the cost of the installation of a $40,000 solar power system.
The project was made possible through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Under REAP, USDA Rural Development provides financing (grants and loan guarantees) totaling up to 75% of the cost to install an alternative energy system for small businesses, ranchers, and farms in rural areas of less than 50,000 people. The program can also pays for any energy efficiency project such as replacing old heaters or air conditioners or outdated lighting at a business, farm or ranch.
The installation of the solar panel array will create a 8.82 photovoltaic system that will be tied into the local electric company. By doing so, the electricity that is created by the solar panels will defray the electricity used by Custom Steel works in its manufacture of metal systems they create.
The power grid-tied system is also set up to sell any extra power produced to the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) under the terms of a 12 year agreement.