For Immediate Release - February 09, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces 12 Energy Grants to Agricultural Businesses

BOSTON - February 9, 2010 - Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced 12 grants to help farmers across the Commonwealth maintain energy efficient buildings, improve heating systems and install renewable energy technologies like solar power and biomass.

Grants awarded by the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) totaling $248,124 will fund projects at farms in Amesbury, Amherst, Ashfield, Granby, Harvard, Ipswich, Rayhnam, Shelburne, Sudbury, West Brookfield, Westhampton and Worthington.

"These grants will help Massachusetts farmers build more successful operations by practicing energy efficiency and utilizing renewable energy, in the process becoming models for businesses across the Commonwealth," Secretary Bowles said.

"By helping farmers reduce costs, improve efficiency and become more energy independent, the Department's energy grants show our continued commitment to ensuring the economic and environmental viability of Massachusetts agriculture," DAR Commissioner Scott Soares said.

DAR's Agricultural Energy Grants support the efforts of the Massachusetts agricultural industry to implement energy-efficient building techniques and to maximize their renewable energy resources. These grants fund projects to install solar power technologies, gas condensing boilers and cleaner burning, more efficient heating systems that will facilitate regulatory compliance and cut operating costs. Projects receiving grants include a thermal blanket for a greenhouse operation, an advanced biomass outdoor wood boiler to heat a greenhouse and an upgrade of a reverse osmosis unit to ensure more efficient maple syrup production.

Funding for the grants comes from the $1.7 billion Energy and Environment Bond Bill signed by Governor Deval Patrick in August 2008. The 2010 grants fund the following projects:

Amesbury - Cider Hill Farm: $30,000

  • To fund a photovoltaic system.

Amherst - Simple Gifts Farm: $26,000

  • To fund a photovoltaic array.

Ashfield - South Face Farm: $6,256

  • To fund a reverse osmosis upgrade.

Granby - Red Fire Farm: $30,000

  • To fund a solar array.

Harvard - Carlson Orchards Inc.: $15,000

  • To fund a refrigeration upgrade.

Ipswich - Appleton Farms: $29,750

  • To fund a solar hot water heater and biomass outdoor wood boiler.

Rayhnam - Olson's Greenhouses: $20,000

  • To fund a thermal blanket to improve greenhouse energy efficiency.

Sudbury - J.P. Bartlett Company Inc.: $30,000

  • For the installation of gas condensing boilers.

Shelburne - Biscuit Hill Farm LLC: $25,000

  • For the installation of a photovoltaic system.

West Brookfield - Ragged Hill Orchard: $20,000

  • To fund a photovoltaic system.

Westhampton - Mayval Farm: $10,445

  • For the installation of a vacuum pump, heat recovery system and in line plate cooler.

Worthington - Justamere Tree Farm: $5,673

  • To fund a reverse osmosis upgrade project.

Click here for more information about DAR energy programs.

The DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of local agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Development, Animal Health, Crop and Pest Services, and Technical Assistance - the DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the Commonwealth's agricultural community, working to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production.