As the cost of energy inputs continues to rise, Washington’s farmers and rural small businesses are looking to renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet their operational needs. Pierce Conservation District is working with nonprofit Spark Northwest to help local farms and businesses generate their own clean energy.
The Rural Energy for Washington program can help agricultural producers and rural small businesses explore opportunities to install renewable energy systems and upgrade to energy efficient equipment. In addition to providing free project consultations and project development assistance, the Rural Energy team can connect participants to grants, utility incentives, tax subsidies, and financing to help complete projects – and avoid pitfalls along the way.
USDA Rural Energy Program managers look over Tahoma Farm’s solar installation, a product of a REAP grant.
"Spark Northwest walked me through every step of the USDA grant application process making it so much easier than trying to do it on my own," said Rawley Johnson, owner/operator of Early Bird Farm. "Our farm now has grant funding to install solar panels on the barn!"
Get more information from the WA Conservation Commission 8/1/2017 webinar postedhere.
Clean Energy Makes Sense (and Cents)
Renewable energy and energy efficiency make good economic sense. These technologies lower operating expenses, hedge against energy price increases, and bolster sustainability. The addition of federal tax credits, USDA grants, and local incentives can make clean energy projects a win-win scenario – good for your business, and good for the planet. Join farms and businesses across the Pacific Northwest that are reaping the benefits of clean energy!
Participants must be located within Washington State and meet the USDA criteria for an agricultural producer or rural small business.
To qualify as an agricultural producer: Must receive 50% or more of annual gross income from agricultural operations.