Clarendon poultry farm receives $140k grant


COLUMBIA - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced on Monday, April 22, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding more than 700 clean-energy projects to lower energy bills, expand access to domestic biofuels and create jobs and new market opportunities for U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers. Many of the projects are funded by President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.

In South Carolina, USDA is providing $634,700 in funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

"South Carolina has been awarded more than $634,000 in the latest round of REAP funding," stated George W. Hicks Jr., acting state director for South Carolina USDA Rural Development. "These initiatives aim to enhance rural power production through energy-efficient upgrades, ultimately reducing energy costs for local farms and businesses."

The REAP program helps agricultural producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, geothermal and small hydropower energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs for American families.

The REAP program is part of the President's Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy and other investment areas flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

These investments will cut energy costs for family farms and other businesses, increasing their resiliency and allowing them to invest back into their communities by creating new jobs and other opportunities. For example:

- In Clarendon County, Phamily Poultry Farms LLC will use a $140,620 grant to purchase and install a 126.7 kW (DC) ground-mount solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Phamily Poultry Farms LLC is a family owned poultry operation. This project will generate 199,414 kWh per year, which is enough electricity to power 18 homes.

- In Anderson County, Milky Way Jersy Farm, dba Milky Way will use a $79,022 grant to purchase and install a new chiller. Milky Way is a dairy and creamery that has been in operation since 1978. This project will save 2,833 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough electricity to power one home.

- Howle Farms and Livestock LLC, a family owned poultry operation located in Darlington County, will use an investment of $154,590 to buy and install a 43.55 kW direct current (DC) roof-mounted PV solar array with battery storage. This project will realize $7,925 per year in savings and will save 61,052 kWh per year, which is enough electricity to power six homes.

- Kiran Fitness LLC, located in Cherokee County, will use a $260,548 grant to buy and install a 235.44 kW (DC) roof-mounted PV solar array. Kiran Fitness LLC is a physical fitness and training center founded in 2019. This project will realize $15,918 a year in savings and will replace 308,363 kWh per year, which is enough electricity to power 28 homes.