Agricultural Energy Grant Program (ENER)

Learn more about the Agricultural Energy Grant Program (ENER) and how to apply.

Overview

The Agricultural Energy Grant Program (ENER) is a competitive grant program that funds agricultural energy projects in an effort to improve energy efficiency and the adoption of alternative energy by Massachusetts farms. The goal of the program is that farms can become more sustainable and the Commonwealth can maximize the environmental and economic benefits from these technologies.

Funding provided for agricultural energy projects that are geared toward: (i) capital infrastructure improvements that promote energy efficiency; (ii) the purchase or expanded use of renewable energy technologies; (iii) tools to address barriers to economic growth, including business management technical assistance and the purchase of more efficient equipment and technology; or (iv) tools and technologies to facilitate sustainability and new product development; all in an effort to improve energy efficiency and to expand the use of renewable energy technologies. By implementing agricultural energy projects, the agricultural operations will become more sustainable while contributing to the goals of the following; MA Farm Energy Program (MFEP); MA Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Implementation; MA Food Systems Plan; the MA Global Warming Solutions Act; and to advance technologies that can be replicated at other agricultural operations in Massachusetts. By implementing these projects, the Commonwealth can maximize environmental and economic benefits.

The FY2020 Ag-Energy Grant Program will fund projects up to the maximum amount listed in their categories in the following table:

Project  Maximum Funding Brief Description
Heat Recovery for Anaerobic Digesters (ADs) $100,000 To recover and utilize thermal heat created as part of the AD system operation. Can be for existing or new ADs.
New High Efficiency, Single or Multi Temperature, Walk-In Coolers  $25,000 New replacement or consolidation of on-site refrigeration needs. 
Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Unit (ASTGU)  Research Projects $100,000 Integration and optimization of simultaneous crop production and clean energy production, with demonstration of crops that can be grown with solar PV in collaboration with academia. This category will consider multiple projects, aiming to represent a variety of dual use agricultural crop demonstration projects.
Zero Net Energy Greenhouse  $100,000 Greenhouse construction that provides energy efficient technology in combination with renewable electric and thermal heating/cooling resulting in year-round energy needs. Architectural/Engineering firms are encouraged to apply as co-applicants.
Zero Net Energy New or Renovated Building Construction $100,000 Zero net energy designs for year-round farm stands, on-site packing and storage buildings, and other relevant agricultural structures, including the energy using equipment within. Architectural/Engineering firms are encouraged to apply as co-applicants.
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects Utilizing Eligible Technologies $50,000 Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects that reduce the agricultural operation’s dependence on energy needs in general and fossil fuels in particular. Combined energy efficiency and renewable energy projects are a priority.

 

Eligible Applicants

Applicant must be an agricultural operation as defined by M.G.L. c. 128, Section1A that is principally and substantially engaged in the business of production agriculture or farming for commercial purposes and:

  • To be eligible for participation in the Program, an Applicant must own, or be a Co-Responder with the owner of the agricultural operation, who has a legal interest in the land whether by deed or written agreement and approval to implement the project on the property, which must be in active agricultural use and managed as a commercial enterprise by the Responder for at least the three (3) previous years. This three (3) year management requirement may be waived if the operator has substantial direct management experience in farming;
  • Are legally recognized entities within the Commonwealth and have the ability to enter a legally binding agreement with the Commonwealth;
  • Awards are limited to one per agricultural operation using a unique tax identification number per round of funding;
  • Priority will be given to applicants who are established in commercial agriculture and whose primary source of income is derived from the agricultural operation and that do not anticipate any change of ownership in the next five years;
  • Have demonstrated the capacity to implement and administer projects and programs as defined in the responsive proposals to this RFR; and
  • Additionally, eligible farm stands shall comply with M.G.L. c. 40A, Setion. 3 and demonstrate that the purpose of the farm stand shall be to sell agricultural products, a majority of which are produced by the applicant’s agricultural operation.

Co-Applicants

  • Research academia is eligible to apply in conjunction with an eligible agricultural operation as defined in Section 1A. In order to be eligible as a co-applicant the applying academic institution must provide documentation of relevant agricultural research capabilities and experience.
  • Architectural/Engineering firms are encouraged to apply in conjunction with an eligible agricultural operation as defined in Section 1A.  In order to be eligible as a co-applicant the firm must be MA licensed or capable of reciprocity, and document relevant energy efficiency/renewable energy industry accreditations.

 

How to Apply

A proposal form (below) must be completed in its entirety. Once completed, the proposal form must be either emailed to Gerald.Palano@mass.gov or a hard copy may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources by the response date and time deadline. Applications that are sent by fax will NOT be accepted for consideration.  If sending a hard copy, print only single sided and please do not staple or put the application in a binder.

  • Applications must be received by the Department by Friday, February 28th, 2020 by 4:00 P.M. 
  • Applications may be sent via either:

                                           Gerry Palano
                                           Energy Coordinator

                                           Department of Agricultural Resources, Suite 500
                                           251 Causeway Street, Boston, MA  02114

 

 

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