ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $1.3 million to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions in rural Minnesota.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad made the announcement this week.

“By reducing energy costs, renewable energy helps to create opportunities for improvement elsewhere, like creating jobs,” Finstad said in a statement.

Some of the projects money will be used for include:

In Spring Valley, David Henderson Auto Parts Inc. will use an $18,750 grant to purchase and install a 40kW solar array that will save the business $7,975 per year and will replace 66,461 kWh (161%) annually, which is enough energy to power six homes.

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In rural Morrison County, family cattle farmer Michael Solinger will use an $8,526 grant to purchase and install a 15kW solar array that will save the farm $2,346 per year and will replace 19,478 kWh (144%) per year, which is enough energy to power one home.

In Rushford, Minnesota, real-estate rental business owner Roger Brand will use a $19,078 grant to purchase and install a 37.5kW solar array that will save the business $7,720 per year and replace 64,337 kWh per year, which is enough energy to power six homes.

In rural Martin County, family hog producer Ten Mile Creek LLC will use a $15,750 grant to purchase and install a 53kW solar array that will save the business $6,432 per year and will replace 65,517 kWh (156%) per year, which is enough energy to power six homes.

In rural Stillwater, Minn., small business owner Michael Raleigh will use a $7,832 grant to purchase and install a 24kW solar array. Raleigh operates a gravel pit site and a machinery repair and storage shop. This project will save the business $3,210 per year and will replace 31,826 kWh (125%) per year, which is enough energy to power nearly three homes.

Interested parties should contact their local Minnesota area office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details.

Also visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/onerdguarantee to learn more about how the REAP Guaranteed Loan Program will be streamlined under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative beginning Oct. 1.