Massachusetts Farm Energy Program Offers Workshops to Help Farms and Rural Businesses Apply for Grants

By Megan Denardo, Program Specialist

The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP), a joint project of the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), is hosting two webinars later this month to help farms apply for the upcoming REAP grant.

The Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, is a federal grant program that provides funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program is able to provide free assistance to farms and rural small businesses throughout Massachusetts who are interested in applying to this grant.

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New England Farm Energy Collaborative Summer Gathering

By Megan Denardo and Renee Stearns, Program Specialists

The anaerobic digestor at Barstow’s Longview Farm in South Hadley turns farm waste like manure into energy the farm can use.

On June 27th, members of New England Farm Energy Collaborative (NEFEC) met for their annual gathering. Those in attendance included representatives from the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural resources, the Connecticut Farm Energy Program, Efficiency Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, the USDA’s Rural Development office, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Center for EcoTechnology.

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Press Release: New Federal Funding to Help MFEP

Primary Contact: Lorenzo Macaluso

413.218.1543 | Lorenzo.macaluso@cetonline.org

Secondary Contact: Emily Susan Gaylord, Marketing Manager
413.687.2132 (cell) | emily.gaylord@cetonline.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New federal funding to help Mass. farms save energy and reduce operating costs
USDA funds support existing state and public utility funding through the Mass. Farm Energy Program

 

Farms and rural small businesses in Massachusetts seeking to reduce energy costs or install clean energy technologies have long relied on the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (MDAR) Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) for funding and technical assistance.

Now, new funding from the United States Department of Agriculture will support the work of the MFEP. The USDA has awarded a $33,000 Rural Business Development Grant to the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), a non-profit based in Northampton, Mass., who partners with MDAR to manage the MFEP. The grant will be used  to provide timely information, funding request assistance, and technical assistance to rural farms that wish to improve their energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

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Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Awards Energy Efficiency Grants

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing (High Performance Homes) Fellow

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) awarded 28 grants to help farmers install renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through both the Agricultural Energy Grant and the Special Projects Grant. The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP), which is administered by the Center for EcoTechnology, played a large role in assisting many of those farmers to complete their applications.

According to a Massachusetts state press release, “the AG-Energy and ENER-SP Grant Programs will fund a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including: photovoltaic systems for a number of farm operations, a tidal upweller power system, solar pole lighting with batteries, and a zero-net energy greenhouse project.”

ferrindino-farms-july-2016-2_1

Ferrindino Farm worked with MFEP, who covered 75% of their audit costs. They were ultimately awarded $20,000 from the MDAR grant to upgrade their maple sugaring equipment.

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Flat Rock Farm

By Megan Denardo, Program Specialist

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      Highland cattle bull drinking from an energy efficient waterer at Flat Rock Farm in Chesterfield. Photo by Ben Coe.

The beautiful Highland cattle that roam through the Berkshire terrain of Flat Rock Farm spend their lives in a humane and natural habitat. Just last month, Flat Rock Farm in Chesterfield, worked with Eversource and the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) to upgrade the outdoor watering system for their cattle. Both MFEP and Eversource helped fund the installation of an energy efficient waterer (pictured above), which ensures clean drinking water for the cattle throughout the winter and saves 5,164 kWh of electricity and over $800 per year!

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