Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl Cook Announces Obama Administration Accomplishments Supporting Renewable Energy
The sun shone brightly on the 896 panel solar array at Heidel Hollow Farm in Germansville, Penn., as USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl L. Cook, other USDA officials and guests celebrated the farm’s successful renewable energy project and the announcement of a new USDA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Report. Heidel Hollow Farm, a family-owned, 1,600 acre hay farm, was awarded two USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants in 2010. The grants were used toward a solar energy project that provides approximately 252,800 KW of electricity used in the hay compressing operation of the farm and an energy efficiency project that replaced one diesel engine with five electric motors, saving over 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. The compactor increases the density of baled hay by 2 1/2 times for more efficient shipping to overseas customers.
According to Deputy Under Secretary Cook, “Rural Development’s REAP grants to Heidel Hollow Farm are excellent examples of funding that contributes to making farm operations more energy efficient and economical. This funding for renewable energy projects helps rebuild and revitalize rural America.” The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency report, released by Secretary Vilsack, highlights the ways in which USDA’s REAP program contributes to U.S. energy independence. Heidel Hollow Farm is one of 79 renewable energy projects funded in Pennsylvania since 2009. In total, Rural Development invested over $5.6 million in Pennsylvania energy projects. Click here to find out how REAP is making a difference and saving energy in Pennsylvania.
The deadline for some 2012 Energy applications is approaching. To find out more, contact your local USDA Rural Development office or click here.