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Updated: April 1, 2024

$2M in USDA grants will help 17 Maine farms, rural businesses become more energy-efficient

Sheep on a farm Courtesy / Moorit Hill Farm Moorit Hill Farm Inc., which raises Icelandic sheep in Troy, plans to install a roof-mounted solar array. The business is among 17 Maine recipients of USDA Rural Energy for America Program grants.

Seventeen Maine farms and other rural businesses will use a total of $2 million in federal grants to become more energy-efficient.

Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, which provides grants and loans to help agricultural producers and rural small business owners nationwide expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy.

“As a small business owner myself, I know what it’s like to have bills mounting,’ said USDA Rural Development Director Rhiannon Hampson, who announced the awards Friday in Rockport.

“When it comes to energy costs, small business owners and farmers can mitigate those costs through renewable energy. It also helps us be part of the climate solution. These investments offer us an opportunity to do something about it."

Each grant recipient is required to match the grant amount with its own investment, equal or greater, in the funded renewable energy project.  

Maine grant recipients include Moorit Hill Farm Inc., which received $64,950 to cover the cost of installing a roof-mounted solar array, which will provide enough clean energy to power nearly five homes.

In addition to raising Icelandic sheep, the Troy-based business operates a small fiber mill that processes wool and other animal fibers into yarn for many other farms around the state.

“We can happily say that the power generated by the solar array will completely offset the energy usage of the fiber mill and the rest of the farm,” Moorit Hill Farm's owners Josh Emerman and Elizabeth Goundie said in a joint statement emailed to Mainebiz.

The full list of Maine USDA grant recipients is available here.

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