USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner visited Silver City, New Mexico Wednesday to present a certificate of congratulations to Stuart Egnal owner of Custom Steelworks. The event marked the completion of construction of the newest solar power project funded by USDA RD through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
During the presentation, Brunner said, “In the last couple of years we’ve seen more businesses access our energy efficiency program because it has helped them become more profitable. Brunner added, “Like the other businesses we have helped, this investment made by USDA will allow Custom Steelworks to save on its electricity bill by harvesting the sun’s energy.”
The funding was made under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which helps farmers, ranchers and small businesses in rural America with loan and grant financial support to install renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements.
Custom Steelworks received a $9,655 REAP grant which paid twenty-five percent of the cost to install thirty-six solar panels that make up the 8.82 grid tied solar power system. The new energy system will allow the manufacturing company to be more energy efficient and more profitable because the power grid-tied system will sell any extra power produced back to the electric company.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.