Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program Announces New Award Winners for 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kaymie Owen, CMP 443-694- 3651
Baltimore, MD –Governor Larry Hogan today announced awards for the FY2018 Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program. This year, a total of seven awards were distributed totaling $175,000 dollars. Named after the late Kathy Mathias, one of the Eastern Shore’s leading advocates and the wife of Maryland State Senator James N. Mathias, the program began in 2012.
“Our administration is committed to dedicating resources to help Maryland’s farming families succeed, which in turn contributes to our state’s fiscal health,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These energy saving projects will decrease farm operating costs, while increasing productivity each year.”
Covering nearly two million acres, agriculture is the State’s single largest use of land. Maryland’s more than 12,000 farms play a key role in the State’s economy. Approximately 350,000 people are employed in some aspect of agriculture, making it Maryland’s largest commercial industry. The vast majority of Maryland farms are operated by full-owners who reside on property and are considered “family farms.” The agriculture industry is energy intensive from not only an electricity stance, farms also rely heavily on fuels such as natural gas, diesel fuel, and propane.
“Agriculture is Maryland’s largest industry and the Mathias program, along with our Animal Waste-to-Energy program is designed to spur energy innovation in this specific segment of the State’s economy,” said Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration.
The Kathleen A.P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program is a competitive grant program that focuses on a comprehensive energy approach to reward farms that implement multiple cost effective energy efficiency measures. Proposed projects must cost at least $20,000 dollars and save energy through the installation of energy efficiency measures. The FY18 Mathias Ag Program incentive is up to 50% of the net project cost for energy efficiency projects, after applying any other leveraged funds.
Now in its sixth year, the Kathleen A.P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program helps agricultural producers become more sustainable through the application of best practices for energy efficiency. The program seeks to support businesses across the state representing a diversity of agricultural industries, project types and best practices for energy efficiency. Eligible applicants include agricultural businesses such as dairy, orchard, poultry/egg, greenhouse, vegetable, animal, vineyard, grain dryer, processor, sawmill, and aquaculture. The total budget this cycle of the program is $175,000 dollars. For a full list of all grantees, click MEA Mathias 2018 Award Listing FRev_DG Updated
Some grantees are multiple year award winners like Hillcrest Nursery, a wholesale greenhouse business that farms a variety of plants including certified organic cell pack herbs, decorative plants and vegetables. Located in Baltimore County, the farm received $37,904 dollars in energy efficiency grants in Fiscal Year 2017 to install high efficiency boilers in a greenhouse. Building on their improvements from the previous year, Hillcrest will use $37,724 dollars from the 2018 grant to install high efficiency boilers in an additional greenhouse which further helps to reduce the farm’s reliance on fossil fuels. The 2018 upgrades are estimated to save 27% of the existing boiler’s energy use with a projected payback in 12 years.
Taylor, Sunshine, Third & Dead End Farms, located in Somerset County, is a 27-year-old poultry farm that raises nearly 1,000,000 birds annually. The farm will use their 2018 grant funds of $19,332 dollars to seal air leaks around windows and walls, install energy efficient heaters, and install canvas end wall door covers to maintain temperature. These measures have an estimated payback of approximately 7 years and save 18 percent of the existing energy use.
This program has allowed farms of every kind in the State to capitalize on energy efficiency and renewable measures that deliver significant savings and yield immediate and positive results for their business. Over the years, this grant program has supported 61 farms and agricultural businesses around the State. In 2015, ten Maryland farms participated in the program and were able to install solar power that reduced their carbon footprint and saved an average of $74,000 per year. The cost savings, driven by increased energy efficiencies were: 34 percent solar power grid avoidance, 14 percent reduction in electricity consumption via energy efficiency technologies and 52 percent reduction in propane use.
Funding for the program comes from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund, which was created from public auctions of carbon credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. For more information on the program please visit: http://energy.maryland.gov/business/Pages/incentives/mathiasag.aspx
Maryland Energy Administration
On behalf of Governor Hogan the mission of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is to promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for the benefit of all Marylanders. To achieve its mission, MEA advises the Governor and General Assembly on matters relating to energy policy. MEA administers grant and loan programs to encourage clean energy technologies in all sectors of Maryland’s economy: Residential, Commercial, Agricultural, and Transportation. For more information about the Maryland Energy Administration, visit www.energy.maryland.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.