Hawaii Rural Development State Director Kanazawa Announces USDA Funding Assistance for Energy Reduction, Business Development and Job Creation | USDA Newsroom
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Release No. 0487.10
Contact:
Melissa Pang Ching (808) 933-8304

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Hawaii Rural Development State Director Kanazawa Announces USDA Funding Assistance for Energy Reduction, Business Development and Job Creation

Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii, Sept. 24, 2010 – Hawaii State Director for Rural Development Chris Kanazawa today announced that the state is receiving USDA funding that will enhance business activity, create jobs, and reduce energy use for rural communities in the state. Kanazawa made the announcement during the 2010 Hawaii Agriculture Conference.

"These renewable energy funds will greatly help increase renewable energy production and reduce operational costs for Hawaii's farmers, ranchers and producers," Kanazawa said. "Our state will also benefit from other USDA Business and Industry funding that is geared toward helping small business owners."

Under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Lalamilo Farm Partners, LP in Kamuela was selected to receive a $169,500 grant to help defray the costs of purchasing and installing a 94.6 kilowatt photovoltaic system that is expected to produce annual energy savings of $37,800. In Kula, O Guest Ranch Maui, LLC was selected to receive a $70,060 grant to help purchase and install a 43 kilowatt photovoltaic system on a dairy farm. The system is expected to save more than $16,100 in annual electric costs.

Today's renewable funding is in addition to a Rural Development Business and Industry program award to Big Island Carbon announced earlier by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. The company has been selected to receive a $5 million award to construct a manufacturing plant that will convert macadamia nut shells into activated charcoal. Additionally, the gas and biofuels created from the conversion of nut shells will be used to off-set the project's total energy needs. The project, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), is expected to save and create an estimated 30 jobs for the state. Hawaii will also benefit from a $114,715 USDA grant under the Small and Socially Disadvantaged Producers Program that was announced last week by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

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