USDA invests in renewable energy projects in New Mexico rural communities – The Deming Headlight

The USDA has committed $464 million to renewable energy projects in NM including Deming's Denny's Restaurant and NM Wineries Inc.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers, and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico. 

“USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before,” Vilsack said. “We recognize that lowering energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers helps to expand economic development and employment opportunities for people in America’s rural towns and communities. The investments we are announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions.”

USDA Rural Development acting state director Eric Vigil added, “These projects are a great example how USDA Rural Development is dedicated to help rural small businesses and ag-producers take advantage of the financial support to make their operation more energy efficient.” Vigil added, “Let’s not forget by using less energy ultimately improves saves money and reduces the carbon footprint at the same time.”

More:Funding available for New Mexico organic producers and handlers

USDA is financing $129 million of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural America, which equates to enough electricity to power 35,677 homes per year. 

USDA is financing $335 million of these investments through the Electric Loan Program. The loans will help build or improve 1,432 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $102 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

The department is announcing investments today in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. 

The projects being funded in New Mexico include:  

Alamogordo, N.M. – This Rural Development investment of $8,818.00 will be used to help McGinn Enterprises Inc. purchase and install a 11.85-kilowatt solar array. This investment will save the business $2,826 in its annual electric bill. The photovoltaic system will generate more than 64 percent of the electricity the business uses every year. The new solar system array will generate enough electricity to power one home. The total cost of the installation of the solar power system is $35,272.00.

Alamogordo, N.M. – Toby Bell pistachio farm will receive a REAP grant of $11,028.00 to purchase and install a 14.72-kilowatt solar array. After the solar system is installed, the business will see $3,386 savings in their annual electric bill. It will generate 24,186 kilowatt-hours of electricity which is more than 150 percent of the electricity the business uses every year. The total project cost is $44,112.00.

Angel Fire, N.M. – Seddin Investments will receive two REAP grants. The first is in the amount of $43,761.00 to install a solar system at the resort called “The Retreat at Angel Fire. After installation, the solar system will save the business $12,911 in its annual electric bill. The total cost to install the solar power system is $175,046.00.

Angel Fire, N.M. – The second Seddin Investments LLC REAP grant will be in the amount of $63,737.00 which will be used to purchase and install energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units, water heaters, insulation and cook stoves. By upgrading to energy efficient systems, the business will save $22,382.00 in its annual electric and gas bill. The total cost of the project is $254,948.00.

Deming, N.M. – This Rural Development invested a $7,500.00 grant to finance the installation of a 236.9-kilowatt hour solar power array at Denny’s Restaurant in Deming, New Mexico. The installation of the solar power array will help the restaurant be more profitable because it will save the business $8,424 in its annual electric bill. The new solar power system will generate 64,800 in kilowatt-hours of electricity which is equal to 30 percent of the electricity this restaurant uses every year.

Deming, N.M. – New Mexico Wineries Incorporated will receive a grant in the amount of $154,314.00 to purchase and install a 271.92-kilowatt solar power array. By installing the solar power system, the winery will save $39,769 in its annual electric bill. The new solar power system will generate enough electricity which is equal to 51 percent of the power this agriculture operation uses every year. The total cost to install the solar power system is $617,528.00.

La Luz, N.M. – Robert S. Nichols dba Nichols Ranch will receive $38,800 Rural Energy for America (REAP) Grant to purchase and install a 30.38 kW solar power array. After installation, the solar system will save the business $6,871 in its annual electric bill. The new solar system will generate 49,085 in kilowatt-hours of electricity which is equal to 111 percent of the electricity this agriculture operation uses every year. The total project cost is $155,200.00

Roswell, N.M. – The Burnt Well Guest Ranch LLC which is an actual working cattle and guest ranch will receive a grant in the amount of $12,436.00 to install a 15.68 kW solar power array. After installation, the solar system will save the business $3,166.00 in its annual electric bill. The total cost to install the solar power system is $49,745.00.

Taos, N.M. – Brownrice Internet Incorporated will receive a $19,982.00 REAP grant to purchase and install a 30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array/parking canopy. When the solar system is installed the business will see $7,5959.00 annual energy savings. The new solar system will generate 50,635 in kilowatt-hours of electricity which is equal to 40.47 percent of the electricity the business uses every year. The new solar system array will generate enough electricity to power five average sized homes. The total cost to install the solar array system is $79,928.00

Taos, N.M. – Taos Communication Corporation will receive a $3,667.00 REAP grant to help KTAO-FM radio purchase and install a 16-kilowatt energy storage battery backup system. The radio station is known to be the first and largest solar powered radio station in the United States.  The battery backup system being purchased by this grant opportunity which will ensure the radio station can operate if its power source is interrupted. 

Village of Los Ranchos, N.M. – Matthew Draper who runs a small agriculture farm will receive a grant in the amount of $3,859.00 to install a 3.75 kW solar power array. The new solar system will generate 6,955 in kilowatt-hours of electricity which is equal to 97 percent of the electricity this farm uses every year. The total project cost is $15,806.00

To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office. 

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.   

To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *