Nearly $150,000 in grants awarded to Cache Valley businesses to install solar arrays

LOGAN – A total of $148,425 in grants have been awarded to eight Cache Valley businesses to become more energy efficient. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will be used by the businesses to purchase and install solar arrays to reduce power consumption. The projects are funded through the Rural Energy for America Program, also known as REAP.

Combined, the power consumption saved by these installations is 456,749 kilowatt hours – enough to provide power to approximately 42 homes a year – and collectively saves these Cache Valley businesses over $57,000 a year in electricity bills. The solar panels are anticipated to capture enough energy to replace all or part of the business or production’s energy consumption.

The participating Cache Valley businesses include Northwood Rental Inc. in Hyde Park, Infinite Discs in Logan, Keller-Bliesner Engineering, LLC in Logan, Smart Care Systems in Logan, Cache Valley Counter Tops Inc. in Richmond, Ritewood Inc. in Lewiston, MDP Properties, LLC in Hyde Park and Transchill, LLC in Logan. Transchill will be installing the largest solar array of the local businesses receiving grants, a 142.5 kW array that will replace nearly 198,000 kWh, saving the company nearly $20,000 a year.

“Energy consumption is a tremendous cost that comes with operating a business or running a farm or ranch and today’s investments will help reduce those costs, allowing the money saved to be put right back into operations and jobs,” said Randy Parker, Utah State Director for USDA Rural Development in a statement. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Utah in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

In total, Over $627,000 in REAP grants were issued to 14 rural Utah businesses and farm operations.

The grant totals for each Cache Valley business, and what that money will be used for, are as follows:

  • Northwood Rental ($19,079) – Northwood Rental Inc. is an equipment rental business in Hyde Park, Utah. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 21kW solar array. This project will realize $4,190 per year in savings and will replace 33,526 kWh(100%) per year.
  • Infinite Discs ($16,613) – Infinite Discs is a sporting goods shop in Logan, Utah. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 19kW solar array. This project will realize $2,772 per year in savings and will replace 25,200 kWh (100%) per year.
  • Keller-Bliesner Engineering, LLC ($8,381) – This Rural Development investment will be used for the purchase and installation of a 11kW solar array on the office building of the KellerBliesner Engineering firm in Logan, Utah. This project will replace 16,399 kWh (100%) per year and realize $1,869 of saving per year.
  • Smart Care Systems ($11,624) – Smart Care Systems is a small customer service call center business in Logan, Utah. Funds will be used to install a 22.5kW solar array on the business facility. This project will replace 30,743 kWh (100%) of energy use per year and realize $3,172 in savings per year.
  • Cache Valley Counter Tops, Inc. ($20,000) – Cache Valley Counter Tops is a family-owned business offering custom counter-top and cabinet fabrication and installation in Richmond, Utah. This business will use grant funds to purchase and install a 36kW solar array. This project is estimated to replace 41,520 kWh (100%) per year and realize $4,567 of savings per year.
  • Ritewood Inc. ($20,000) – Ritewood, Inc., an egg production business in Lewiston, Utah, will purchase and install a 37.2 kW solar array on the production facility. It is anticipated this project will replace 52,800 kWh (100%) per year and realize $14,256 of savings per year.
  • MDP Properties, LLC ($23,017) – MDP Properties is a commercial lessor of real estate in Hyde Park, Utah. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 41.5kW solar array. This project will realize $6,587 per year in savings and will replace 58,819 kWh (100%) per year.
  • Transchill, LLC ($29,711) – Transchill LLC is a manufacturer of coolers for shipping containers in Logan, Utah. Project funds will be used for the purchase and installation of a 142.5 kW solar array. This project will realize $19,774 per year in savings and will replace 197,742 kWh (100%) per year, which is enough electricity to power 18 homes.

If a rural business or agricultural producer is interested in applying for similar loans, applications for grants of $20,000 or less are due by November 2, 2020, or March 31, 2021. In December 2019, AE Properties received a $32,265 grant to install solar panels on the building currently occupied by Elevate Pest Control at 60 West 1000 North in Logan, and Hammer Head LLC received a $39,621 grant to install solar panels on the building currently occupied by K&H Fitness in Brigham City at 675 South Main.

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