For Immediate Release - October 23, 2012

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:

Municipality

Farm Name

Project

Award

NantucketBartlett's Ocean View Farm, Inc.185.6kW Photovoltaic System

$20,000

ColrainCoombs Hill FarmVariable Speed Pump

$8,705

ChesterfieldCrabapple Farm6.7kW Photovoltaic System

$12,000

Feeding HillsDon Stepanik's FarmNatural Gas Conversion, High Efficiency Boilers

$10,000

FraminghamEastleigh FarmBio-Fuel

$10,000

East LongmeadowGraziano GardensGreenhouse Electronic Controls

$2,195

BridgewaterHanson Farm, Inc.14.16kW Photovoltaic System

$15,000

HardwickHardwick Sugar ShackReverse Osmosis

$12,500

OrangeHunt Farm54.45kW Photovoltaic System

$20,000

HancockIoka Valley Farm14.4kW Photovoltaic System

$25,000

WorthingtonJust-A-Mere Tree FarmReverse Osmosis

$7,500

WorthingtonKinne Brook Farm10.56kW Photovoltaic System

$10,000

South DeerfieldLong Plain Farm, LLCOutdoor Wood Boiler

$15,000

IpswichMarini Farm, LLCBiomass Boiler

$5,000

SheffieldPine Island Farm PartnershipDigester Heat Recovery

$12,500

AmherstPotwine Neighborhood FarmHeat Recovery

$3,000

PaxtonR.H. Robinson Co.High Efficient Greenhouse

$5,000

RutlandSchultz Farm59.4kW Photovoltaic System

$20,000

TownsendSettlement Farm39.33kW Photovoltaic System

$5,000

DartmouthSilverbrook Farm, LLC26.6kW Photovoltaic System

$7,500

SpringfieldSixteen Acres Garden Center, Inc.Greenhouse Shade Screen

$5,400

HatfieldSzawlowski Potato Farms, Inc.Cold Storage

$12,500

North TruroTruro Vineyard40.5kW Photovoltaic System

$21,850

GranvilleUp Hill Farm, LLC4.8kW Photovoltaic System

$9,350

TopsfieldValley View FarmCheese Cave

$20,000

SunderlandWarner Farm9.8kW Photovoltaic System, Walk-in Cooler

$17,500

DeerfieldWilliams Farm, Inc.Steam Hood, Natural Gas Conversion

$12,500

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.

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