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USDA awards funding for 12 renewable energy projects in southern Idaho

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funding for 12 renewable energy projects in Idaho. The projects, overseen by businesses and agricultural producers in the state, will receive more than $539,000 in federal funding. (Anteia McCollum/Idaho Capital Sun)

In an effort to lower energy costs, expand access to clean energy and combat climate change, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funding for 12 renewable energy projects in Idaho, said USDA Rural Development Idaho State Director Rudy Soto in a press release.

The projects, overseen by businesses and agricultural producers in the state, will receive more than $539,000 in federal funding, according to the release.

“Through partnering with USDA Rural Development, Idaho farmers and small business owners are leading the way in bringing renewable energy to our rural communities,” Soto said in the release. “Unlocking these meaningful cost savings, made possible through energy efficiency improvements, is a force multiplier when it comes to helping businesses to thrive and grow.”

The USDA will fund the projects through the Rural Energy for America Program. The program helps farmers, ag producers and entrepreneurs purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements, according to the release.

Thursday’s announcement is part of a larger national announcement detailing $285 million invested in similar projects nationwide, according to the release.

The 12 Idaho projects that received funding include:

  • Hidden Valley Farms, a family-owned potato producer in Minidoka County, will use a $49,092 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. This project will save the business $19,338 and will replace 260,000 kilowatt hours (80%) per year, which is enough to power 24 homes.
  • Hidden Valley Organics, a family-owned small organic dairy in Minidoka County, will use a $11,860 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. This project is expected to save $19,338 and replace 260,000 kilowatt hours (80%) per year, which is enough to power 24 homes.
  • Blue Lakes Properties, a small real estate easing company operating a car dealership in Twin Falls County, will use a $45,000 grant to purchase and install a 174.84 kilowatt solar electric roof mounted array. This project will save the business $12,664.52 and will replace 201,625 kilowatt hours (100%) per year, which is enough to power 18 homes.
  • CRC Property Holdings, a family-owned small real estate holding company operating a car dealership in Cassia County, will use a $45,000 grant to purchase and install a 174.84 kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted array. This project is expected to save the business $13,776.50 and will replace 201,625 kilowatt hours (100%) per year, which is enough to power 18 homes.
  • Darrell Funk, a small crop producer located in Twin Falls County, will use a $49,312 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. This project will save the business $15,371.76 and will replace 256,196 kilowatt hours (95%) per year, which is enough to power 23 homes.
  • Patricia Funk, a small crop producer from Twin Falls County, will use a $49,312 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. This project will save the business $15,371.76 and will replace 256,196 kilowatt hours (94.93%) per year, which is enough to power 23 homes.
  • R-AG Inc., a family-owned small crop producer located in Minidoka County, will use a $49,092 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. The project is expected to save the business $19,010.40 and will replace 265,000 kilowatt hours (83%) per year, which is enough to power 24 homes.
  • 4 R Land Company, a family-owned small crop producer located in Minidoka County, will use a $49,092 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. The project will save the business $27,352.60 and will replace 265,000 kilowatt hours (58%) per year, which is enough to power 24 homes.
  • RM Power Sports, a family-owned real estate holding company operating farm ground located in Minidoka County, will use a $49,092 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. This project is expected save the business $30,364.80 and will replace 265,000 kilowatt hours (52%) per year, which is enough to power 24 homes.
  • Trevor J. Roche, who runs a small ranching operation located in Canyon County, will use a $43,548 grant to purchase and install a solar thermal radiant floor heating system to be used in an agricultural shop. The project will save the business $17,419.40 and will generate 174,194 kilowatt hours  per year, which is enough to power 16 homes.
  • Aaron Telford, a small crop producer from Minidoka County, will use a $49,612 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. The project will save the business $20,498.68 and will replace 256,196 kilowatt hours (73%) per year, which is enough to power 23 homes.
  • Michael and Shannon Telford, small seed potato producers located in Minidoka County, will use a $49,612 grant to purchase and install a 100 kilowatt solar electric array. This project will save the business $20,495.68 and will replace 256,196 kilowatt hours (70%) per year, which is enough to power 23 homes.
The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state. As longtime Idahoans ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing Idaho. We provide in-depth reporting on legislative and state policy, health care, tax policy, the environment, Idaho’s explosive population growth and more. Our mission is relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Boise and beyond are made and how they affect everyday Idahoans. We aim to tell untold stories and provide data, context and analysis on the issues that matter most throughout the state. The Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.