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USDA Invests in Clean Energy and Affordable Fuels to Strengthen Farms, Small Businesses Across Florida

In honor of Earth Day 2024, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Florida State Director Lakeisha Hood Moїse announced today that USDA is funding clean energy projects to help lower energy bills, expand access to affordable fuels, and create jobs across Florida. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to expanding access to modern clean energy systems and fueling options that strengthen the nation’s energy independence while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money,” Hood Moїse said.

 In all, USDA is investing $8 million of funding in Florida through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). These investments will cut energy costs for farms and small businesses, increasing their resiliency and allowing them to invest back into their communities by creating new jobs and other opportunities. For example:

  • Orion Oil will use $2,993,500 to install 77 E85 dispensers and 13 ethanol storage tanks at 18 fueling stations located across Florida, including in Miami, Palm City, Key West, Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, Fort Pierce, Haverhill, Boynton Beach, Lake Park, Hialeah, Pembroke Park, Pompano Beach, and Delray Beach. This project will help expand the sales and use of ethanol and biodiesel.
  • DeConna Ice Cream Company, which distributes ice cream products to schools, supermarkets, restaurants and hospitals, will use a $714,420 REAP investment to purchase and install solar arrays. This investment will generate 1,285,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually – enough to power 119 homes.
  • Located in Apopka, Amerigo Farms will use an investment of $803,777 to purchase and install a 407.6 kW solar renewable energy system to increase energy efficiency of its operations and save approximately $83,000 per year on energy costs.

Other recipients of these clean energy awards include Montebana Fuels, Commerce Boulevard Partnership, Living Colors Nursery, Florida Georgia Citrus, Trenton Biochar Services, Treasure Island Resort Wear & Gifts, McCrory's Bromeliad Nursery, Circle H Ranch, HDSS LLLP, Greentechnologies, L/C Trucking of N. FL, McLeod Poultry, IV Stat, and SS Designs.

USDA continues to accept applications for funding to expand access to clean energy and domestic biofuels. Applications are being accepted quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024.

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