Heiwa Tofu, Inc, of Rockport, and the City of Rockland are among recipients of USDA Rural Development Funds being awarded in Maine.
Both entities recently received visits from Emily Cannon, Public Information Officer for the Rural Development office of the United States Department of Agriculture. Following her visit, Cannon created a 1.5 minute-long video showing images of the two recipients.
Watch the video here: https://spark.adobe.com/video/B7UUl0fSW6N5N
On Earth Day, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced the awarding of $1,595,0009 in USDA Rural Development funds to four businesses and three local governments in Maine, including Heiwa Tofu and The City of Rockland. The total $483,009 in grants and $1,112,000 in low-interest loans will propel clean water and renewable energy projects in rural southern and Midcoast Maine, according to Pingree’s office, in a news release.
“Earth Day is time for us to recommit a whole-of-government approach to mitigate the climate crisis. Rural businesses and local governments offer a great opportunity to promote renewable energy sources and cleaner, more efficient water systems,” said Pingree. “Addressing climate change and improving resilience at the local level is a key step forward. I’m glad USDA Rural Development recognizes the power of climate-mart investments that benefit rural communities and their economies. As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, I’ve been a vocal advocate for this funding because I’ve seen the tremendous impact these grants and loans have on our neighborhoods and small businesses.”
USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants:
- City of Rockland, $462,000 loan: This investment will be used to pay for the additional costs incurred to rehabilitate the City of Rockland, Maine's wastewater treatment facility. The proposed project will focus on the wastewater system as it is in need of immediate upgrades. Some of the plant's original equipment and processes are upwards of forty years old, and the overall facility is well beyond the twenty-year useful life for which it was originally designed. The proposed project will not only correct the plant's current operating deficiencies, but also help the City improve their economic development opportunities.
- Boothbay Harbor Sewer District, $338,500 grant and $650,000 loan: This investment will be used to reline approximately 12,000 linear feet of sewer line in the greater downtown area of Boothbay Harbor. The Boothbay Harbor Sewer District provides safe and reliable sanitary wastewater services for the inhabitants of Boothbay Harbor, Boothbay and Southport. The funds will address aging infrastructure and capacity and improve services for 1,720 users.
USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants:
- Heiwa Tofu, Inc, Rockport, $8,822 grant: This investment will be used to purchase and install a 20.15 kW roof-mounted solar PV system. This project will replace 21,200 kWh (37%) of business energy usage and realize $1,667 of savings annually.
- Autumn Lane, LLC, Sebago, $9,499 grant: This investment will be used to purchase and install a 20.6 kW roof-mounted solar PV system. This project will replace 27,655 kWh (100%) of business energy usage and realize $2,815 of savings annually.
- Flight Deck Brewing, Brunswick, $18,603 grant: This investment will be used to purchase and install a 44.07 kW roof-mounted solar PV system. This project will replace 52,884 kWh (38%) of business energy usage and realize $8,290 of savings annually.
- Southern Maine Planning and Development: Saco, $100,000 grant: This investment will be used to conduct approximately 15 energy audits for rural small businesses and agricultural producers throughout the 39 municipalities in the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission. These audits will provide analysis to make energy-efficiency improvements to these operations.
- Lazy Acres Farm, Farmingdale, $7,585 grant: This investment will be used to purchase and install a 21.12 kW ground-mounted solar PV system. This project will replace 22,978 kWh (100 percent) of business energy usage and realize $1,814 of savings annually.