PROVIDENCE – As part of its continued efforts to grow Rhode Island's green economy, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced $600,000 will be available to help local farmers "green" their operations and benefit from the related energy and cost savings. The new Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Grant Program supports energy efficiency projects as well as helps farmers transition to renewable power.
The first grant round will open this fall. DEM – in partnership with the Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, and others – will hold three public workshops this month to review this new program – as well as other energy programs available to Rhode Island farmers.
Wednesday, June 8: West Greenwich Community Center 274 Victory Highway 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 16: Tiverton Library 35 Roosevelt Avenue 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 23: North Scituate Library 606 West Greenville Road 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
DEM continues to work across many fronts to strengthen Rhode Island's green economy and assist local farmers in growing their businesses. Rhode Island is home to a thriving young farmer network, ranking second nationally in percent of farms owned by beginning farmers. And the state is one of few nationally where the number of farms is on the rise. There are more than 1,200 farms in Rhode Island – an increase of 44 percent from 2002. The state's green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy each year.
Funding for the new Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Grant Program is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Grants of up to $20,000 will be available. To register for a workshop, call 500-0399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.