BANGOR, Maine — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday more than $180,000 in grants to help eight rural Maine businesses become more energy-efficient.
The eight Maine sites are among more than 900 projects announced nationally, totaling more than $11.6 million in grant funding, according to a USDA press release.
The grants are meant to help the businesses invest in renewable energy technology and install more energy-efficient heating and electric systems.
The following Maine businesses received grants:
• Washington — America’s Wood Co. received $18,750 toward a new solar energy system. The eight-employee business is expected to have its annual electricity consumption cut by 93 percent.
• Damariscotta — Lincoln County Publishing Co. received $18,750 toward a new solar energy system. The company employs 30 people. The new system is expected to offset 96 percent of the company’s electricity consumption.
• South Paris — Bancroft Contracting Corp. received $20,000 toward energy-efficient lighting in the company’s main building and shop. The lights are expected to reduce the company’s electricity consumption by 26 percent. Bancroft Contracting received another $20,000 grant to help purchase and install a new solar energy system. The heavy construction contractor employs 179 people.
• Sangerville — Haley Construction Inc. received $16,526 toward a solar thermal system that will convert sunlight into heat for a new hot water system and radiant floor heating. The system should cut oil purchases by 77 percent. Haley Construction employs 40 people.
• Bingham — North Country Rivers Inc., a 35-employee rafting contractor, received $9,359 to install new insulation at the company’s facilities in Bingham. Another $20,000 grant will help North Country Rivers get a wood pellet boiler, solar energy system and solar thermal system.
• Skowhegan — OKJ Construction Inc. received $20,000 toward a wood-biomass system that will convert organic biomass into gaseous fuels and a renewable energy source. The company expects to replace 67 percent of its electricity use.
• Windham — Arundel Business Center LLC received $19,997 toward a new solar energy system. The business center owns and manages commercial properties.
• Lewiston — Grant’s Bakery Inc. received $19,957 toward a new solar energy system.