County companies net energy efficiency grants

FRENCHVILLE and LIMESTONE, Maine — Two Aroostook County companies are among 13 in Maine that will receive USDA grant funding to improve energy efficiency.

The 13 Maine businesses will receive a total of $606,696 from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.  

Edwin Pelletier and Sons Inc. in Frenchville, will receive a REAP grant of $37,710, which will be used to purchase and install a 61.6 kW solar PV ground-mounted system. This project will replace 74,237 kWh (95 percent) and save $10,393 per year.

Leavitt Farms, LLC. in Limestone will receive funds of $89,615 to purchase and install a 153 kW solar PV ground-mounted system. This project will save $35,900 per year and generate 274,963 kWh annually, replacing all of the business’ energy needs.

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “Investing in Maine’s rural businesses by funding renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements helps reduce their operating costs, and can help them to be more profitable. I am pleased USDA Rural Development can help strengthen rural economies through its business programs.”

Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems, insulation and lighting and refrigeration.

Other Maine recipients include Balfour Farm LLC of Pittsfield, Brooks Inc. of Thomaston, Brown Enterprises LLC of Monmouth, Cranberry Isles Fisherman’s Co-op of Islesford, Lubec Brewing Company, Maine Beer Company of Freeport, Morningstar Marble and Granite Inc. of Topsham, Pol Inc. of Millinocket and Sheepscot General LLC of Whitefield.

For more information on the Rural Energy for America (REAP) Program, contact Brian Wilson, Business Programs Director, at 207-990-9168 or

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. 

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