Colorado agriculture businesses seeking to boost energy efficiency or invest in renewable energy projects can apply to tap into $350,000 in assistance funds. The funding is being offered through the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), and it is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries and cold storage facilities.
This funding is part of a multi-agency Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program, which is part of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Regional Conservation Partnership Program. RCPP offers technical and financial support to ag producers to install and maintain projects that address natural resource concerns in the state. The deadline for applications is Dec. 15.
The current funding amount, $350,000, is divided into two classes. The first $250,000 is for energy efficiency projects, while the remaining $100,000 is available to support renewable energy projects. The funding is provided by CDA’s Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency grant program, also known as ACRE3.
The Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program is designed to provide a turnkey approach, with the idea of making energy efficiency improvements easier for producers. The program provides free energy audits, renewable energy site assessments and technical support services to about 60 Colorado producers annually. CEO runs the program and funds energy audits and technical support services. NRCS and CDA provide funding for project implementation and added services.
To be eligible for the new funds, applicants must be enrolled in the agricultural efficiency program and complete either an energy audit to receive funding for energy efficiency projects, or a preliminary site assessment and technical report to get funding for renewable energy projects.
Applicants may receive up to $50,000 per project. Additional federal funding may be available, depending on the nature of the project. Eligible energy efficiency projects are limited to those recommended in the energy audit report.
Eligible renewable energy projects are limited to thermal systems for hot or chilled water, process heat, space conditioning and solar photovoltaic systems. Renewable energy technologies for thermal systems include geothermal and advanced heat pump systems, and solar thermal technologies.
Applications for this funding must be received by CDA before 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15.
Source: Colorado Department of Agriculture