For Immediate Release - December 07, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Over $815,000 to Massachusetts Farms

Grants to Assist Local Farms in Improving Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Systems

BOSTON – December 7, 2016 Continuing to demonstrate its commitment to clean energy and energy efficiency, the Baker-Polito Administration today awarded 39 grants to local farms throughout the Commonwealth totaling $817,659. Since 2009, the Ag-Energy Grant Program has funded agricultural energy projects through two separate grant programs, the Agricultural Energy Grant Program (Ag-Energy), and the (ENER-SP), to improve efficiency and support alternative clean energy technologies. Additionally, 2016 is the first year the ENER-SP Grant Program is being offered and targets special projects that will assist farms to become more sustainable.

“One way to ensure Massachusetts farms remain viable and competitive in a challenging global market is to encourage and support the growth of alternative clean energy technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth’s agricultural sector remains an important part of local, regional, and state economies, and by offering these unique grants, we are able to reduce both energy costs and carbon emissions, enabling more long-term success for Massachusetts farms.”

“There are farms in every corner of the Commonwealth, ensuring fresh products are readily available for consumption every day,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I am thrilled our Administration is able to continue providing the farms awarded grants today through these two funds the assistance to pursue transformative energy projects that will help both the farms and the Commonwealth.”

Both the Ag-Energy Grant Program and the ENER-SP Grant Program utilize a competitive grant process that provides funds to agricultural energy projects in an effort to improve efficiency. Additionally, the programs facilitate the adoption of alternative clean energy technologies by Massachusetts farms. In doing so, farms will become more sustainable, technologies will continue to be supported, and the environment will benefit from a reduction of carbon emissions.

“By implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, local farms will benefit from cost-effective savings while simultaneously reducing the impact on our environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These grant programs serve as excellent examples of the commitment the Baker-Polito Administration has for our state’s local farms and the environment as a whole.”

The grant programs are coordinated in collaboration between the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). Ag-Energy Grants provide up to $30,000 for projects focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. ENER-SP Grants provide funds for projects aimed at energy saving and energy replacement technology that improves energy efficiency and facilitates alternative clean energy needs within agricultural operations.

“The state’s continued investment in agricultural projects demonstrates the Baker-Polito Administration’s strong commitment to sustainable farming,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux “From on-site electric generation to the installation of projects that reduce fuel consumption, grants provided by the Ag-Energy and the ENER-SP Grant Programs significantly benefit local farm businesses.”

“The Department of Energy Resources is pleased to help support energy projects at farms and agricultural operations in Massachusetts,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson. “These clean energy projects will increase their ability to control energy costs, reduce emissions, and make their farms more resilient.”

The AG-Energy and ENER-SP Grant Programs will fund a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including: photovoltaic systems for a number of farm operations, a tidal upweller power system, solar pole lighting with batteries, and a zero-net energy greenhouse project.

Since 2009, the AG-Energy Program Grants have awarded over 190 projects statewide with more than $2.7 million to address energy solutions on Massachusetts farms. Of the 39 local farms receiving energy project grants this year, 28 of them are being provided by the AG-Energy Grant Program totaling $467,659, and include:

  • Agronomy Farm Vineyard in Oakham, MA: $16,000 for the installation of a pole tracking PV System.
  • Baybreeze Oysters, Inc. in Westport, MA: $16,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Bay End Farm in Bourne, MA: $15,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Blue Stream Aquaculture, LLC in West Barnstable, MA: $20,000 for the installation of a pole tracking PV System.
  • Bridgmont Farm in Westhampton, MA: $25,000 for the installation of an evaporator with a preheater.
  • Curcurbit Farms in Acton, MA: $25,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Eva’s Garden in South Dartmouth, MA: $3,000 for the installation of an air economizer.
  • Ferrindino Farms in Hampden, MA: $20,000 for the installation of a reverse osmosis system and evaporator.
  • Hanson Farm, Inc. in Bridgewater, MA: $12,000 for the installation of six solar powered street lights.
  • Honey Pot Farm, LLC in Hatfield, MA: $16,000 for the installation of a pole mounted PV System.
  • Invisible Cities Apiary in Amherst, MA: $7,500 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Just-A-Mere Tree Farm in Worthington, MA: $7,833.90 for the installation of an RO Upgrade and VFD.
  • Kimball Fruit Farm, LLC in Pepperrell, MA: $30,000 for the installation of a solar tracking PV System.
  • Lawton Farm in Foxboro, MA: $30,000 for the installation of a pole mounted PV System.
  • Little Brook Farm in Sunderland, MA: $16,000 for the installation of ground and roof mounted PV System.
  • Martino’s Seafood, LLC in Oak Bluffs, MA: $9,439 for the installation a tidal upweller power system.
  • Meadowbrook Farms in South Hamilton, MA: $16,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Moose Mountain Maples in Otis, MA: $14,250 for the installation of a reverse osmosis system.
  • Morning Glory Farm, Inc. in Edgartown, MA: $15,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Mt. Massaemet Sugarhouse in Shelburne Falls, MA: $16,141 for the installation of a preheater and flue pans.
  • Natural Roots in Conway, MA: $15,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • New Harmony Farm in Newbury, MA: $20,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Quissett Hill Farm, LLC in Mendon, MA: $15,000 for the installation of an evaporator, reverse osmosis system, and a VFD vacuum pump.
  • Red Fire Farm in Montague, MA: $30,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.
  • Sheldon Brook Sugarhouse in Deerfield, MA: $3,995 for the installation of a reverse osmosis system.
  • Stan’s Maple in Shelburne, MA: $7,500 for the installation of a reverse osmosis system.
  • Steve’s Sugar Shack in Westhampton, MA: $30,000 for the installation of an evaporator with a preheater.
  • Valley View Farmstead Cheeses in Topsfield, MA: $16,000 for the installation of a roof mounted PV System.

Eleven of the grants are being provided through the ENER-SP Grant Program totaling $350,000, and include:

  • 2 Friends Farm, Inc. in Attleboro, MA: $25,000 for the installation of a walk-in freezer/refrigeration unit.
  • Barstow Farm in Hadley, MA: $50,000 for the installation of a heat recovery system.
  • Barway Farm Inc. in Deerfield, MA: $37,000 for the installation of a heat recovery system.
  • Codman Community Farms in Lincoln, MA: $25,000 for the installation of a walk-in refrigeration unit.
  • Dismis Family Farm in Oakham, MA: $62,000 for the installation of a zero net energy greenhouse.
  • Farmer Daves in Dracut, MA: $25,000 for the installation of a walk-in refrigeration unit.
  • Grass Roots Farm in New Braintree, MA: $25,000 for the installation of a walk-in freezer/refrigeration unit.
  • Jordan Dairy Farm in Rutland, MA: $50,000 for the installation of a heat recovery system.
  • Maple Corner Farm in Granville, MA: $11,500 for the installation of a walk-in freezer/refrigeration unit.
  • Old Friend’s Farm in Amherst, MA: $19,500 for the installation of a walk-in refrigeration upgrade.
  • The Shepard’s Gate in Holland, MA: $20,000 for the installation of a walk-in refrigeration unit.

“Locally grown agricultural products are the lifeblood of our economy and our future for rural communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Improving food access through sustainable energy options for our families will strengthen and innovate our economy, giving farmers and small business owners the tools they need to thrive in rural communities and preserve our green energy future.”

“I appreciate the continued support from the administration to assist our farms,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “The drought has caused a lot of hardship to many of our farms and farmers and these grants are coming at a very critical time.  Sustainability through green technology is a win for our farms and the consumers who rely on them.”

“The Shepard’s Gate is an outstanding family-operated farm and I want to congratulate them for earning this competitive grant,” said State Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren). “These Ag-Energy Grants are a great way to support local farms while encouraging environmental sustainability.”

“Increasing energy independence and efficiency is a great way to strengthen our local farms and the state's agricultural economy,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). “These grants will increase the sustainability of dozens of farm businesses, help preserve productive farmland, create jobs, and produce local agricultural products that consumers want. This is a great investment in our agricultural future.”

“For many farms, the cost of becoming more energy efficient is not only overwhelming, but impossible,” said State Representative John Scibak (D-South Hadley). “Barstow's Farm has been a leader in the use of alternative clean energy technology, producing enough energy to supply 1,600 homes.  The heat recovery system to be installed at Barstow’s with this grant will provide for even greater efficiency and sustainability while continuing to reduce carbon emissions.”

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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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