PROVIDENCE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency awarded Rhode Island $150,000 last week in renewable energy grants.
Three grants, $50,000 each, went to: Global Imaging Holdings Realty LLC in North Smithfield and Plain Lane Acres LLC in West Greenwich for feasibility studies, and the Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Area Council for development assistance.
Global Imaging and Plain Lane will study the economic, environmental and technical feasibility of wind power at sites in West Greenwich and North Smithfield.
The Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Area Council will put the money toward assisting farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and in making energy-efficiency improvements.
The three Rhode Island awards were part of the $3.6 million in national funds given to 67 projects; the funding was made available through the Rural Energy for America program.
The program aims to help rural agricultural producers reduce energy consumption and costs; use renewable energy technologies in their operations; and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects.
“Our agency is committed to making America more energy efficient, and in doing so, more competitive by encouraging the development of renewable energy systems," said Jonathan Healy, USDA southern New England state director.