Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced on Tuesday that three Central Coast projects received grant funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and increase efficiency.
The Atascadero 76 Gas Station received $49,680 to assist in financing the installation of an E-85 Flexible Fuel Pump Renewable Energy. Kraus Farms, an organic avocado, citrus and coffee farm in Carpinteria, received a grant of $6,024 to help pay for the installation of a Solar Photovoltaic Renewable Energy System. Still Waters Vineyards in San Luis Obispo received a grant of $49,466 to assist in financing the installation of a Solar Photovoltaic Renewable Energy System.
Each grant pays for 25 percent of the total cost of the project.
“These grants are yet another reminder of how Central Coast residents are leading the way in adopting renewable energy technologies and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels,” Capps said. “Not only will these farmers and small business owners increase their energy efficiency and decrease their impact on the environment, but they will save money as well.”
“We are very appreciative of this grant, which will assist us in cutting our costs and saving energy,” said Perry Gibson of Kraus Farms.
“Still Waters Vineyards is very pleased that we were awarded a $49,466 grant to assist with the financing of our 60KW solar project,” said Paul Hoover of Still Waters Vineyards. “Once completed, we will be supplying 95 percent of our electrical needs for our 60-acre vineyard, winery and tasting room. Still Waters Vineyards is a Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certified vineyard and all of our operations are aimed at being as environmentally sensitive as possible. As a small, family run business, my wife and I are extremely proud that we could accomplish this endeavor and are thankful for the governmental assistance.”
Under the terms of REAP, up to 25 percent of eligible project costs can be funded through a grant. Since 2009, REAP has helped fund nearly 8,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.
The funding announcement also comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s June announcement of his Climate Action Plan, which outlines a comprehensive approach to reduce carbon pollution and better prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change.
— Chris Meagher is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.