Renewable Energy

Renewable energy systems can help small businesses and agriculture producers lower energy costs and work to a long-term goal of greater energy independence for the region and the US.

USDA Rural Development provides funding to GPCOG for educational outreach and free technical assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses interested in installing renewable energy systems. These systems include:

  • Solar
  • Tidal power
  • Biomass
  • Small wind
  • Small hydro
  • Geothermal

USDA offers competitive grants and guaranteed loans under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP),  funding up to 25% of total project costs for grants and up to 75% of total project costs for guaranteed loans.

GPCOG can provide a free site visit with an engineer at your farm or business. We can also provide your small business with a pre-feasibility report, which includes system costs, system placement on properties, return on investment as well as federal incentives and tax credits.

Examples of Maine renewable energy projects that received GPCOG technical assistance:

McDougal Orchards

McDougal Orchards, located on 284 acres in Springvale, received a $14,837 REAP grant to purchase and install a 20.14 kW solar PV roof-mounted system at the orchard. The solar system supplies all of the orchard’s energy demands.

 

Photo credit: Maine Home & Design

Wilbur’s Chocolates

Wilbur’s Chocolates, located in downtown Freeport, received a $12,159 REAP grant to purchase and install a 2,297 kWh solar PV roof-mounted system at their business. The solar system supplies 15,000 watts at peak capacity which is about 13% of the business’ overall electricity needs.

 

For more information on this program or to request a site visit and pre-feasibility report, contact Jennifer Brennan at jpuser@gpcog.org