GPCOG received a $100,000 federal grant to help about 300 rural businesses and agricultural producers with renewable energy projects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development recently announced that it had awarded a Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant to the Portland economic development group.
The grant would be used to support energy projects for 150 small businesses and 150 agricultural producers in rural areas statewide, the Rural Development’s Bangor office said. That support would come in the form of helping those entities evaluate the potential to adopt various renewable energy technologies, including solar, biomass and other forms.
“I am very pleased to select the Greater Portland Council of Governments to receive these USDA Rural Development funds, which will have a significant impact on rural businesses and agricultural producers statewide,” USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said in a prepared statement. “This funding has the potential to assist 300 businesses in cutting energy costs and lowering emissions through the provision of technical assistance related to renewable energy systems.”