U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced more than $400,000 in federal funding to help New Jersey farmers and small businesses cover the cost of installing renewable energy systems. The funding, through five grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will be used to install solar and geothermal power generation systems that will reduce the businesses' reliance on fossil fuels and lower their heating bills.
"These New Jersey small businesses and farmers recognize the promise of renewable energy, and we're proud to help secure federal funding that supports their efforts to convert to clean energy systems," said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds the USDA. "These renewable energy projects will help individual businesses save money, and will continue moving our nation toward energy independence and away from dirty, fossil fuels."
"Investing in clean, renewable energy sources is important for our environment, our economy, and our competitiveness," said Senator Menendez. "I applaud this funding which will help New Jersey businesses and farmers serve as a model on how converting to renewable energy is good for business. It's imperative we ensure New Jersey is on track for a sustainable future."
The following New Jersey businesses are receiving federal funding for the installation of renewable energy systems:
* Stoney Creek Blueberries in Hammonton: $99,990 for a photovoltaic electric generation system that will provide 100 percent of the farm's electricity.
* Rural Electric Cooperative in Sussex: $187,065 for a solar photovoltaic system to generate electricity for the Cooperative.
* Bolero Corporation in Wildwood: $20,000 for a solar array to generate electricity for a hotel business.
* PMB By the Sea in Cape May Courthouse: $13,250 for a roof-mount solar array and geothermal heating unit.
* Avalon Sun Power in Cape May: $123,120 for a solar photovoltaic system that will generate electricity for a hotel business.
Senators Lautenberg and Menendez have been fighting to accelerate our transition from fossil fuels to clean, limitless, renewable, domestic energy. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Lautenberg has supported funding for clean energy projects. In addition, he has sponsored legislation to extend tax credits for clean energy, including solar, and he introduced the Cleanfields Act, which would help promote the development of clean energy projects on Brownfields sites.
Senator Menendez created the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program as part of the 2007 energy bill, which provided $3.2 billion to build new green energy projects, create jobs, and lower municipal energy bills, including over $70 million in grants for New Jersey communities. Senator Menendez also helped lead the fight to extend solar tax credits until 2016, a cornerstone of a continued vibrant solar industry in New Jersey, which has the second largest solar market in the country.