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Coon Valley Telephone among recipients of $2 million announced by Sen. Baldwin to cut energy costs under USDA program

WISCONSIN – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced over a dozen Wisconsin farmers and rural small business owners will receive more than $2 million in grants to make energy efficiency improvements, cut costs, and strengthen the resiliency of their operations.

“Wisconsin farmers and small businesses are the backbone of our rural communities, and I’m working to help them cut costs, innovate, and grow for the future,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to bring home this funding that will help Made in Wisconsin businesses reduce their energy costs, create jobs, and improve the efficiency of their operations for years to come.”

The funding comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – which received a $2 billion boost through the Baldwin-backed Inflation Reduction Act. Through the REAP program, USDA provides grants and loans to help agriculture producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements.

Since 2018, REAP has invested over $9.2 million into Wisconsin farms and rural businesses. Last year, Senator Baldwin announced more than 50 farms benefitting from REAP grants. Today’s announcement comes in addition to nearly 40 farms and businesses that have already received REAP funding this year in March and May, totaling over $3 million in direct support that Senator Baldwin delivered for Made in Wisconsin businesses. Thanks to investments under the Baldwin-backed Inflation Reduction Act, more farmers and more acres are enrolled in voluntary conservation practices than at any single point in history.

Fifteen farms and businesses in Wisconsin were awarded REAP grants this month, including:

Osceola Auto Body in Osceola: $95,700 to help Osceola Auto Body, Inc. install a small solar electric array. The project is expected to save $7,980 per year. It will replace 87,155 kilowatt hours (54 percent of the business’s energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power eight homes.

Brett Nixon in Fond du Lac County: $1,000,000 to construct and operate a dairy manure anaerobic digester. The digester will capture bio-methane which will then be converted to renewable natural gas on-site. The processed natural gas will then be transported through a pipeline to supply local utilities. The project is expected to create eight jobs.

LaCanne Family Dental in Marinette: $49,665 to help LaCanne Family Dental install a solar electric array. This project is expected to save $3,386 per year. It will replace 27,242 kilowatt hours (kWh) (88 percent of the business’s energy use) per year, which is enough to power two homes.

Coon Valley Farmers Telephone in Coon Valley: $65,691 to help Coon Valley Farmers Telephone install a small solar electric array. This project is expected to save $5,615 per year. It will replace 75,872 kilowatt hours (51 percent of the company’s energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power seven homes.

Alta Genetics USA in Watertown: $414,500 to help Alta Genetics USA, Inc. install a solar electric array. The project is expected to save $35,499 per year. It will replace 493,046 kilowatt hours (92 percent of the farm’s energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 45 homes.

Tomahawk Pharmacy in Tomahawk: $33,932 to help Tomahawk Pharmacy LLC install a small solar electric array. The project is expected to save $3,954 per year. It will replace 33,466 kilowatt hours (kWh) (100 percent of the company’s energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power three homes.

A full list of REAP award recipients can be found here.

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