Pingree Announces Federal Grants for Southern Maine Small Businesses
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today announced a total of nearly $530,000 in federal grants for several small businesses in Southern Maine. The funds comes from two USDA Rural Development programs Pingree has strongly advocated for in Congress—the Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG).
“These REAP grants will allow local businesses to save on energy costs while cutting fossil-fuel consumption through renewable energy production, a win-win for the local economy and environment,” Pingree said. “I’m also glad to see Turtle Rock Farm receive a Value Added Producer Grant to expand its production of preserved organic vegetables. VAPG have a great track record of helping rural businesses create jobs and thrive over the long term. These are the kinds of investments our rural communities absolutely need, which is why I’m proud to stand up for them in Congress.”
Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which has oversight of USDA RD funding. During recent debate on the House Farm Bill, Pingree spoke in opposition to cuts in funding for REAP, VAPG, and other RD programs that have benefited Maine.
Grant summaries provided by USDA Rural Development. Note that federal funds also leverage other sources of funding—more information provided in the links.
Value Added Producer Grant
Turtle Rock Farm, Brunswick: $250,000.00
Project Description: This Rural Development investment will be used to assist agricultural producers seeking to establish or expand markets for their value-added agricultural products. Turtle Rock Farm will use working capital grant funds to expand the marketing, preserving, and canning of organic vegetables. The project will increase revenue to the farm, grow the customer base, and increase the wholesale volume of Turtle Rock Farm. More information here.
Renewable Energy for America Program
T&D Wood Energy, Sanford: $200,000
Project Description: This Rural Development investment will be used to build a mid-sized wood pellet manufacturing facility, adjacent to an operating white pine sawmill. The wood pellet mill will utilize all the wood waste residues from the sawmill, as well as purchasing additional wood waste residues from sawmills in the region. This project will generate 164,100,821 kWh annually, which is enough electricity to power 15,142 homes. More information here.
Mook Sea Farms, Walpole: $49,597
Project Description: This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 90.28 kW roof-mounted solar array. Mook Sea Farm, Inc. is an oyster farm founded in 1985 on the Damariscotta River in Midcoast Maine. Their hatchery produces 80 to 100 million juvenile oysters (seed) annually for sale to other oyster growers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast as well as selling to the seafood market. This project will replace 101,700 kWh (49.74%), which is enough electricity to power 9 homes, and will realize $14,238 in saving per year. More information here.
Flying Frog, LLC, Freeport: $19,496.00
This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 34.5 kW roof-mounted solar array. Flying Frog, LLC owns and leases commercial property. This project will benefit Buck s Naked BBQ in Freeport, Maine, a tenant of Flying Frog, LLC. This system is projected to produce 41,524 kWh of electricity annually generating 11% of their electricity demands. More information here.
Mallory Property Holdings, Newcastle: $6,465.00
Project Description: This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 10.98 kW roof-mounted solar array. Mallory Property Holdings, LLC is a real estate holding company and co-owns the certified organic distillery Split Rock Distillery located in Newcastle, Maine. Split Rock Distillery is open daily with tours, tastings and bottle sales creating all their products from scratch using only grains from the New England region producing gin, vodka, whiskey, bourbon and simple syrups. This project will replace 9,329 kWh (49%) and realize $1,334 in saving per year. More information here.
Porchside Properties, Dresden: $4,228
Project Description: This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 5.49 kW roof-mounted solar array. Porchside Properties, LLC owns Porchside Veterinary Care located in Dresden, Maine. Porchside Veterinary Care offers wellness and sick patient examinations for small animals, spay/neuter and soft tissue surgery along with dentistry services. This system is projected to produce 6,192 kWh of electricity and realize $998 in savings per year. More information here.