USDA announces $171,198 for rural energy projects in Nevada

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Updated: 9/20/2013 5:45 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- USDA has announced approval of $186,200 in energy grants to eight rural businesses that will use the funds to enhance energy efficiency, develop alternative energy sources, or conduct a feasibility studies on using alternative energy.

The projects range from a Winnemucca potato grower who will use solar power to run an irrigation pump and pivot, to a rural electric company that will build a solar photovoltaic system to generate 91, 495 kWh of renewable energy annually.

Winnemucca Farms, one of the largest agricultural operations in the country, was approved for a $50,000 grant to develop a 50kW solar photovoltaic system to provide power for irrigation on the farm. The contractor on the project is Hamilton Solar, of Reno, NV.

Three small businesses-- Iron Mountain Nursery in Stagecoach, Lampe Corners, Ltd., in Gardnerville, and McCleary Ranch outside of Carson City, also received energy grants.

Roger Falcke’s AM PM store on Highway 395 in Gardnerville will use its $12,500 grant to construct a 10 kW solar photovoltaic system to provide power for the gas station/convenience store. The project will generate an estimated 18,270 kWh of renewable energy annually. The contractor is Solar Products LLC.

Beth McCleary will use the $13,162 in energy funds to build a 9.75 kW solar photovoltaic system for her small farming operations located on the former List Ranch. The system will generate 14,433 kWh of renewable energy annually for irrigation. McCleary operates a Community Supported Agriculture business which sells locally grown produce by subscription.

Two Hawthorne motels owned by Jagdish Desai will receive funds to make energy efficiency improvements. America’s Best Inn & Suites, will use a $14,493 grant to purchase and construct a 100 million Btu solar thermal system to provide hot water for visitor use. The project will replace an estimated 1,089 gallons of propane annually. The Monarch Motel will use $18,817 to purchase and construct a 19 kW solar photovoltaic system to generate an estimated 40,858 kWh of renewable energy annually. The contractors are Briggs Electric of Carson City for the Monarch Motel, and Sustainable Energy Solutions, of Sparks, for the Amerca’s Best Inn and Suites.

Yerington’s Desert Hills Dairy, the largest dairy in Northern Nevada, will use $15,002 in USDA Rural Development grant funds to conduct a study to assess the feasibility of large solar systems to offset its electrical and propane power costs. The dairy operation milks more than 5,000 cows a day, and currently uses an estimated 1.5 million kWh annually in electricity, and 2 million kWh annually in propane. The Desert Research Institute at University of Nevada Reno will be conducting the feasibility study.

The Rural Energy for America Program grant application opens in the spring, and is generally funded in late summer. Learn more at the USDA website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/NVHome.html or contact Mark Williams, Energy Coordinator for USDA Rural Development, at (775) 887-1222, Ext. 116.

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