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.”

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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.

MFEP played an integral role in assisting farmers to access these grants, connecting them with resources, guiding them through the process, and helping with their applications. Additionally, an energy audit is required for the grant application, and MFEP connects farms to auditors when needed and funds 75% of the cost. MFEP worked with 78% of the awardees of the Ag Energy Grant, and 63% of the Special Projects Grant awardees. Overall, MFEP helped farms receive over 580,000 dollars this season alone. MFEP also helped to fund 24 farm’s energy audits in order for them to be considered for grants.

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Jerry Ferrindino, in front of his maple barn

If you are interested in having an energy audit or connecting with funding for your farm, contact the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program or call 413-727-3090.

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