Pingree Welcomes Federal Funds to Support Renewable Energy for Rural Maine Businesses
Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) welcomed over $65,000 in USDA Rural Development funds to help farms and other rural businesses in Bowdoinham, Cumberland and Freeport cuts costs through renewable power systems. During recent debate on the House’s failed Farm Bill, Pingree had advocated for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) that provides the grants—the legislation would have eliminated mandatory funding for the program.
“For farms and many other rural businesses, high energy expenses are a perennial concern because they have a huge impact on their bottom line. I’m so glad these local farms and businesses will be able to cut those costs and their environmental impact with the help of these grants,” Pingree said. “Frankly, I’m a little dumbfounded why the failed Farm Bill went after this very popular program. REAP grants leverage large amounts of private investment, bring needed money to rural communities, and increase our country’s energy independence. The Farm Bill cuts could have been devastating and I will continue to fight for this program if it is targeted again.”
Video of Pingree speaking in support of the program can be seen here under “On the bill’s anti-environment provisions."
Grant summaries below—grant funds are just a portion of total project costs.
- Bluebell Farm, Bowdoinham: $5,286 to install a 9.76 kWh solar array.
- Six River Farm, Bowdoinham: $20,000 to install 37.2 kWh solar array.
- Autowerkes Maine, Freeport: $20,000 to install 56.26kWh solar array.
- Vanir Properties, Cumberland: $20,000 to install a 66.5 kWh solar array.