BANGOR — U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson has announced that USDA is awarding three Rural Energy for America Technical Assistance Grants (REAP TAG). Two businesses and one nonprofit secured grants through a competitive process. They will use the grants to help Maine agricultural producers and rural small businesses apply for energy efficiency grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

“Today we’re celebrating a new program designed to help rural Maine farmers and small businesses become more energy efficient,” State Director Hampson said, in a news release from the Bangor office. “We are partnering to provide free technical assistance to help these businesses apply for REAP grants. More rural applicants will succeed due to this support. And when agricultural producers and businesses win REAP grants and upgrade their energy systems, they save money. These infrastructure improvements also combat climate change. This is a critical program that provides tangible benefits to all Mainers.”

Rural Development’s REAP program provides grants and loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. The program covers up to 50% of the cost for renewable energy systems (biomass, geothermal, solar, etc.). REAP funds also may be used to pay for energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, lighting, and replacing energy-inefficient equipment. Agricultural producers may also apply for REAP loans to purchase new energy efficient equipment and new systems for agricultural production and processing. In fiscal year 2023, the Biden-Harris administration invested almost $3.75 million in Maine businesses through the REAP program.

The grants will make it easier for qualified rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for REAP funding. The three award recipients in Maine will use the funds to provide free assistance to REAP applicants, focusing their work in distressed or disadvantaged communities. The REAP TAG recipients are:

Pecos Wind Power Inc., which manufactures smaller-scale wind turbines for on-site power generation, was awarded $152,000. The company will help Maine agricultural producers and rural small businesses that wish to use distributed wind power to apply for REAP grants. Pecos Inc. will assess the feasibility of potential projects, prepare the necessary technical reports and permitting, assist the applicants with completing their REAP proposals, and plan construction and implementation. Contact Josh Groleau, CEO, at or 207-745-2231.

The Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC), a nonprofit based in Washington County, was awarded $151,000. SCEC will help agricultural producers and small businesses in Washington County that want to explore and implement renewal energy projects. SCEC will offer tailored support including helping applicants secure partners, providing grant-writing assistance, and supporting successful applicants in implementing their projects. Contact Denise Cilley, associate director, at or 207-259-5103.

Sustaine Inc., which advises businesses on how to improve energy efficiency and implement projects, was awarded $100,000. Sustaine Inc. supports a variety of energy solutions like solar photovoltaics and solar thermal systems, lighting efficiency, HVAC controls, combined heat and power, etc. With its REAP TAG funding, Sustaine will help Maine small businesses and agricultural producers assess their energy needs, design suitable improvements, and prepare and submit their REAP grants. Contact Malcolm Smith, Sustaine Inc., at or 512-554-5104.


Check out other upcoming area events!

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: