Helps three local farms "green" operations and save energy, money
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, today announced $52,245 in grant awards to help three local farms "green" their operations and benefit from the related energy and cost savings. The awards, provided through the new Rhode Island Farm Energy Program, support energy efficiency projects as well as help farmers transition to renewable power.
The following projects have been awarded funding:
Harmony Hills Farm, Glocester - $19,047 Installation of a 10.92 kW solar Photovoltaic system that will be used to power a farm manufacturing facility that produces assorted jams and pickles.
Red Planet Vegetable Farm, Johnston - $14,930 Installation of a 3.78 kW solar Photovoltaic system that will power a five-acre farm, producing organic vegetables.
Pat's Pastured, East Greenwich - $18,268 Upgrades to the refrigeration/freezer system that is used to store meats produced by the farm.
Funding for the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. For the initial grant round, awards up to $20,000 were considered. DEM continues to work across many fronts to strengthen Rhode Island's green economy and assist local farmers in growing their businesses. The state is home to a thriving young farmer network, ranking second nationally in percent of farms owned by beginning farmers. And Rhode Island is one of few states 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.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for timely updates.