A craft brewery in Freeport and a stone and tile company in Topsham are among the five Maine firms that won a total of $245,774 in federal grants for renewable energy projects, specifically solar electric panels.

The awards were announced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program grants are from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants. They are earmarked for transitioning rural small businesses to renewable energy sources.

The companies and their projects are:

• The Baker Co., a medical equipment manufacturer in Sanford, $18,146 to purchase and install a 219.52 kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted system. This project will replace 241,958 kilowatt hours or 15 percent of demand and save $31,455 per year.

• Morningstar Marble and Granite, a stone and tile company in Topsham, $60,000 to purchase and install a 161.28 kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted system. This project will replace 171,112 kwh or 92 percent of demand and save $22,245 per year.

• Sheepscot General LLC, an organic hemp-for-CBD producer in Whitefield, $26,750 to purchase and install a 54.6 kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted system. This project will replace 70,856 kwh or 74 percent of demand and save $9,636 per year.

• Brooks Inc., a lobster trap maker in Thomaston, $50,000 to purchase and install a 115.9 kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted system. This project will replace 123,877 kwh or 86 percent of demand and save $16,104 per year.

• Maine Beer Co., a craft beer brewery in Freeport, $90,878 to purchase and install a 193.71 kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted system. This project will replace 223,762 kwh or 51 percent of demand and save $33,027 per year.

“As a member of the House Agriculture and Appropriations Committees, I’ve advocated for federal funding to support small businesses that want to lower their costs by transitioning to renewable, more efficient energy sources,” Pingree said in a statement. “I applaud these local Maine businesses for applying for these federal grants, which are a win-win for their small businesses and our environment.”

Pingree sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which oversees discretionary funding for USDA programs like REAP.

Comments are not available on this story.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.