PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES 27 GRANTS FOR ENERGY PROJECTS AT MASSACHUSETTS FARMS
BOSTON – Tuesday, October 23, 2012 – The Patrick-Murray Administration today awarded 27 grants totaling $325,000 to Massachusetts farmers to implement renewable energy systems and improve energy efficiency on farms.
"These grants will give our farmers the resources for economic success and drive our clean energy future," said Governor Deval Patrick. "They are a step in delivering on our goal to make Massachusetts a leader in the clean energy revolution that is sweeping the world."
Awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (DAR) Agricultural Energy Grant Program, funding was provided to farms in the towns of Amherst, Bridgewater, Chesterfield, Colrain, Dartmouth, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, Framingham, Granville, Hancock, Hardwick, Hatfield, Ipswich, Nantucket, Orange, Paxton, Rutland, Sheffield, Sunderland, Topsfield, Townsend, Truro, Whatley and Worthington.
“This grant program is an important component of the Commonwealth’s efforts to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, whose office includes DAR. “I want to thank this year’s recipients who are partners in our progress toward a clean energy future.”
Grants will fund projects such as photovoltaic systems for vegetable and orchard operations, variable speed vacuum pumps for dairies, reverse osmosis machines for maple syrup operations, and thermal blankets for greenhouses.
“These grants not only help farmers realize immediate energy efficiency benefits but also provide economic stimulus to local businesses providing materials and equipment to farms,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson.
The Agricultural Energy Grant Program is one of several within DAR’s Division of Agricultural Conservation and Technical Assistance (DACTA). The division’s mission is to provide technical assistance, training, conservation, and funding to promote economically viable and environmentally sound agricultural practices in Massachusetts.
“This program is key in helping farmers adopt cleaner energy practices and reduce energy consumption all across Massachusetts, keeping them sustainable and in step with the Commonwealth’s long-term energy goals,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
The program has funded 120 projects statewide since 2009, providing growers and producers more than $1.6 million to address energy issues on their farms. This year, 38 applicants submitted a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects totaling approximately $750,000 in requests.
“The impact of grants such as this cannot be understated,” said Sen. Marc Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “The valuable funding will provide farmers a solid economic benefit and will help us all advance toward a long-term true sustainable development future.
“The Patrick Administration continues to be a leader in energy projects. These grants, which literally benefit every corner of the Commonwealth, are a key to helping our farmers and agricultural sector continue to prosper and remain viable,” said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Today’s grant awardees:
|Nantucket||Bartlett's Ocean View Farm, Inc.||185.6kW Photovoltaic System|
|Colrain||Coombs Hill Farm||Variable Speed Pump|
|Chesterfield||Crabapple Farm||6.7kW Photovoltaic System|
|Feeding Hills||Don Stepanik's Farm||Natural Gas Conversion, High Efficiency Boilers|
|East Longmeadow||Graziano Gardens||Greenhouse Electronic Controls|
|Bridgewater||Hanson Farm, Inc.||14.16kW Photovoltaic System|
|Hardwick||Hardwick Sugar Shack||Reverse Osmosis|
|Orange||Hunt Farm||54.45kW Photovoltaic System|
|Hancock||Ioka Valley Farm||14.4kW Photovoltaic System|
|Worthington||Just-A-Mere Tree Farm||Reverse Osmosis|
|Worthington||Kinne Brook Farm||10.56kW Photovoltaic System|
|South Deerfield||Long Plain Farm, LLC||Outdoor Wood Boiler|
|Ipswich||Marini Farm, LLC||Biomass Boiler|
|Sheffield||Pine Island Farm Partnership||Digester Heat Recovery|
|Amherst||Potwine Neighborhood Farm||Heat Recovery|
|Paxton||R.H. Robinson Co.||High Efficient Greenhouse|
|Rutland||Schultz Farm||59.4kW Photovoltaic System|
|Townsend||Settlement Farm||39.33kW Photovoltaic System|
|Dartmouth||Silverbrook Farm, LLC||26.6kW Photovoltaic System|
|Springfield||Sixteen Acres Garden Center, Inc.||Greenhouse Shade Screen|
|Hatfield||Szawlowski Potato Farms, Inc.||Cold Storage|
|North Truro||Truro Vineyard||40.5kW Photovoltaic System|
|Granville||Up Hill Farm, LLC||4.8kW Photovoltaic System|
|Topsfield||Valley View Farm||Cheese Cave|
|Sunderland||Warner Farm||9.8kW Photovoltaic System, Walk-in Cooler|
|Deerfield||Williams Farm, Inc.||Steam Hood, Natural Gas Conversion|
For more information on the Ag-Energy Program, visit www.mass.gov/agr/programs/aegp/index.htm
For information on the Division of Technical Assistance programs, visit www.mass.gov/agr/divisions/ag_technical_assistance.htm
DAR's mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions - Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services - DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth's agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture's role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR's website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at twitter.com/MDARCommish.