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Funding available for agricultural energy project

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The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) are seeking applicants for agricultural energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The total amount available for assistance in FY 2018 is $350,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries, and cold storage facilities.

The funding is part of the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

The current funding amount includes $250,000 for energy efficiency projects and $100,000 for renewable energy projects. This funding is provided by CDA's Advancing Colorado's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ACRE3) grant program.

The Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program provides a turnkey approach that makes energy efficiency improvements easy for producers. The program provides free energy audits, renewable energy site assessments, and technical support services to about 60 Colorado producers annually. CEO administers the program and funds the energy audits and technical support services. NRCS and CDA provide funding for project implementation and additional services.

Applicants must be enrolled in the agricultural efficiency program and complete either an energy audit to receive funding for energy efficiency projects or complete a preliminary site assessment and technical report to receive funding for renewable energy projects. Applicants may receive up to $50,000 per project. Additional federal funding may be available. Eligible energy efficiency projects are limited to those recommended in the energy audit report. Eligible renewable energy technologies are limited to thermal systems for hot or chilled water, process heat, space conditioning, and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Renewable energy technologies for thermal systems include geothermal and advanced heat pump systems, and solar thermal technologies.

Applications are available online at www.colorado.gov/energyoffice/agricultural-energy-efficiency and at www.colorado.gov/agconservation/acre.

Applications must be received by the Colorado Department of Agriculture before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15.

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