Tina Smith

04/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/09/2024 18:00

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Clean Energy Projects for Minnesota Farms and Small Businesses

[MINNEAPOLIS, MN] - U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced funding awards for 27 farms and small businesses across rural and Greater Minnesota to install clean energy technology on their farms. This round of funding for Minnesota totals nearly $2 million. This initiative is possible through the more than $144 million in grant funding for underutilized renewable technologies through the Renewable Energy for America (REAP) program, which Senator Smith championed and strengthened in the Inflation Reduction Act.

"The clean energy transition is happening, the question is whether we lead or follow. I want us to lead," said Senator Smith. "But as we make the switch to cleaner, cheaper energy, we need to make sure everyone benefits. That's one reason programs like REAP, which helps rural communities install renewable energy systems, are so important. These investments will save farms and small businesses across Minnesota thousands of dollars a year in energy costs while helping reduce harmful emissions."

"I applied and received a grant for my new mixed flow grain dryer," said John Kapphahn, a farmer from Elbow Lake. "We had an older continuous flow dryer that was about 20 years old that was destroyed by a tornado. The new dryer has cut our operating expense for drying corn by at least 50% with better quality grain."

"The REAP grant funding helped us to add a rooftop solar array to our dairy farm," said Alan Abrahamson from Lindstrom. "As a small dairy farm anything we can do to reduce our costs is beneficial. If we can also do it in a way that helps the environment it is a win, win."

Projects included can be found in the table below.

The funding is specifically set aside for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agriculture currently accounts for roughly one-quarter of Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator Smith continues to prioritize improvements to REAP, promote underutilized technologies, and help more farmers access the program. Senator Smith introduced the bipartisan, bicameral REAP Modernization Act which would increase the cost share for REAP grants, raise certain grant limits, and improve the accessibility of the program to farmers and small businesses.

Toplines

Total Investment: $1,972,628

Total in Energy Savings (kWh/Year): 2,128,931 kWh

Total in Energy Savings ($/Year): $255,002

Farm/Business Location Amount Project Description Yearly Savings Energy Savings in kilowatt hours
Darwin, MN $199,626 Purchase and installation of a 204kW solar array $31,405 265,809 kWh, enough to power 25 homes
New Richland, MN $65,000 Purchase and install a 54kW solar array $19,100 71,600 kWh, enough to power seven homes
Elbow Lake, MN $148,906 Purchase and installation of an energy efficient grain dryer $18,334 251,965 kWh, enough to power 23 homes
Mahnomen, MN $75,526 Purchase and installation of an energy efficient grain dryer $18,309 214,070 kWh, enough to power 20 homes
Mahnomen, MN $228,463 Purchase and installation of an energy efficient grain dryer $17,625 234,994 kWh, enough to power 22 homes
Utica, MN $62,500 Purchase and install a 52kW solar array $17,300 79,000 kWh, enough to power seven homes
Adams, MN $57,500 Purchase and installation of a 48kW solar array $16,100 75,200 kWh, enough to power seven homes.
Austin, MN $147,153 Purchase and installation of a 99kW solar array $13,600 137,400 kWh, enough to power 13 homes.
Mahnomen, MN $70,600 Purchase and installation of 40kW solar array $12,792 56,617kWh, enough to power five homes
Park Rapids, MN $77,540 Purchase and installation of a 52kW solar array $12,000 58,000 kWh, enough to power five homes
Pipestone, MN $89,000 Purchase and install a 25kW wind turbine $11,378 110,900 kWh, enough to power 10 homes
Zimmerman, MN $51,726 Purchase and install a 50kW solar array $8,707 72,562 kWh, enough to power seven homes
Lindstrom, MN $71,350 Purchase and installation of a 55kW solar array $8,229 74,455 kWh, enough to power seven homes
Stillwater, MN $31,339 Purchase and install a 18kW solar array $6,920 21,148 kWh, enough to power two homes
Atwater, MN $40,387 Purchase and installation of a 50kW solar array $6,100 63,300 kWh, enough to power six homes
Mapleton, MN $62,300 Purchase and installation of a 20kW solar array $5,400 36,000 kWh, enough to power three homes
Blue Earth, MN $37,450 Purchase and installation of 29kW solar array $5,313 40,289 kWh per year, enough to power four homes
Fairmont, MN $23,341 Purchase and installation of a 12kW solar array $5,277 10,882 kWh, enough to power one home
Aitkin, MN $20,000 Purchase and installation of a 37kW solar array $4,800 40,600 kWh, enough to power four homes
Cleveland, MN $35,700 Purchase and installation of a 28kW solar array $3,159 38,126 kWh, enough to power three homes
Owatonna, MN $20,000 Purchase and install a 18kW solar array $2,860 23,420 kWh, enough to power two homes
Sauk Centre, MN $28,950 Purchase and install a 19kW solar array $2,700 26,848 kWh, enough to power two homes
Caledonia, MN $13,600 Purchase and installation of a 15kW solar array $2,300 22,500 kWh, enough to power two homes
Watkins, MN $18,987 Purchase and installation of a 16kW solar array $2,000 20,900 kWh, enough to power two homes
Elbow Lake, MN $263,000 Purchase and installation of an energy efficient grain dryer $1,953 45,010 kWh, enough to power 4 homes
Eyota, MN $12,684 Purchase and installation of 8kW solar array $912 10,436 kWh, enough to power one home
Watson, MN $20,000 Purchase and installation of an energy efficient heating and cooling system and update a walk-in cooler $419 26,900 kWh, enough to power two homes