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USDA Funds $5.3 Mil for Clean Energy and Domestic Biofuels to Strengthen Small Businesses in Kansas


Projects Will Lower Energy Costs and Expand Access to Cleaner Fueling Options

By the U.S. Department of Agriculture 


TOPEKA, Kan. (April 23, 2024) – In honor of Earth Week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Kansas State Director Christy Davis announces more than $5.3 million for seven clean energy projects to lower energy bills, expand access to domestic biofuels and create jobs and new market opportunities for Kansas farmers, ranchers and businesses.

“The USDA is helping expand access to clean energy and fueling options that promote energy independence and save Kansans money,” Davis said. “We are excited to partner with farms and small businesses to address energy solutions, economic growth and keep rural communities strong.”

The details of the Kansas projects are:

  • A $44,940 grant will help purchase and install a 35 kilowatt solar array for Flint Hills Designs LLC of Newton. The project is estimated to replace 52,111 kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power four homes.
  • A $396,305 grant will help purchase and install a 330 kilowatt solar array for New Age Industrial Corporation Inc. of Norton. This project will realize $46,597 per year in savings and will generate 446,400 kilowatt hours, enough electricity to power 41 homes. 
  • A $394,440 grant will help purchase and install a 149 kilowatt and 225 kilowatt solar array for CNL Ranch LLC in Stanton County. This project will generate 623,061 kilowatt hours per year, enough electricity to power 57 homes. 
  • A $452,500 grant will help purchase and install miscellaneous energy efficient equipment for Nesika Energy LLC of Scandia. The project is estimated to save 1,181,689 kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power 111 homes.
  • A $572,968 grant will help purchase and install a 445 kilowatt solar array for White’s Kingco, Inc., a grocer in Kingman and Lindsborg. The project is estimated to replace 637,326 kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power 60 homes.
  • A $500,000 grant will help purchase and install energy efficient improvements for North Star Feeds of Atchison. North Star Feeds will replace their existing boiler with a more efficient model, insulate and shorten their water and steam lines, install a return to conserve energy and water, replace existing tanks with new insulated storage tanks, and replace existing truck-mounted diesel pumps with efficient electric models. The project is expected to save 850 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, 8,692,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 17,755 gallons of diesel fuel, and 3,410 gallons of unleaded gasoline per year, which is a 73 percent reduction in energy use and enough energy to power more than 300 homes. The project is expected to save the company $154,886 per year in energy costs.
  • A $3,000,000 grant will help create infrastructure to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels through Blue River Valley LLC’s site in Potwin. This project will consist of rebuilding two two-million-gallon ethanol storage tanks, loading equipment, and site controller. This project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 238,710,000 gallons per year.  

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) helps agricultural producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, geothermal and small hydropower energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs. USDA continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions
quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes a dedicated portion for underused renewable energy technologies.

The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) provides grants to fueling station and distribution facility owners, including marine, rail, and home heating oil facilities, to help expand access to domestic biofuels, a clean and affordable source of energy.

USDA continues to accept HBIIP applications quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. These grants will support the infrastructure needed to reduce out-of-pocket costs for transportation fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery Subscriber Page.