By , Elizabeth Harrington
Published December 20, 2015
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is spending millions on green energy projects for farms, including putting solar panels on the tops of chicken coops.
The federal agency announced Friday that its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) will spend $63 million on solar panels and wind turbines for the farming industry.
One project, totaling $16,094, was awarded to Blue Sky Poultry, Inc., of Bainbridge, Ga., to “install a solar array on the roof of poultry houses.”
Other projects announced by the USDA included $18,000 for solar panels for a fruit farm in Ohio, and $19,750 for a wind turbine for a farm in Minnesota.
The majority of funding is going toward similar small projects. The agency is also financing larger solar projects through loan guarantees in the amounts of $3 to $4 million, and funding a $5 million project to turn wood into gas.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the $63 million in funding would “create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.”