Serving Franklin County, WA

Area solar projects receive grants

OTHELLO – More than $1 million has been earmarked to help four area businesses develop and maintain solar arrays to generate power for agricultural use.

The USDA has announced Othello-based Basin Farmworks, Weyns Farm and Sage Hill Electric will receive Rural Energy for America Program grants. Big Bird Farms of Harrington is also receiving a grant.

Weyns Farm, 8289 Kulm Road S.E., was awarded $1 million to purchase and install a 1080 kilowatt solar array.

The project is expected to generate 1.49 kilowatt-hours and save the farm $152,384 annually, the USDA reported.

Basin Farmworks, 2076 West Blueberry Flats Lane, will receive $14,400 for a 16.2 kilowatt solar panel project replacing 21,034 kilowatt-hours and saving $2,018 annually, the agency reported.

Sage Hill, 2165 S. State Highway 24, will receive $11,847 for use in purchasing and installing a 16.2 kilowatt solar area to serve an area in nearby north Franklin County.

The funds will be used to help purchase and install the solar panel system, which will replace 30,819 kilowatt-hours annually for a savings of $1,485, the agency reported.

The three local businesses are among 16 statewide to receive a total of more than $3 million grant funds from the Rural Energy for America Program.

Combined, all 16 projects are estimated to generate 10.07 million kilowatt-hours annually, enough to power about 933 homes, the USDA reported.

Among the grants is an allocation of $18,120 for Big Bird Farms, 309 S. Second St., Harrington.

That business plans to use the funds to purchase and install a 14.6 kilowatt array, which will generate 17,943 kilowatt-hours and save the company about $1,912 annually.

In addition to the area grants, other Eastern Washington businesses receiving grants include:

Kittitas County – Lazy T Farm, $19,492

Klickitat County – Underwood Fruit and Warehouse, $522,150; and Maryhill Winery, $161,250

Okanogan County – Walking Rose, $14,840

The remaining grants went to Western Washington businesses.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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