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August 31, 2023 | Tom Ballard

USDA awards loans and grants for energy efficiency to 20 Tennessee companies

Eight of the recipients are in the three East Tennessee Congressional Districts. Nearly 25 percent of the amount awarded went to a Greeneville company.

Twenty Tennessee agricultural producers and small businesses, including eight from the three East Tennessee Congressional Districts, received more than $1.087 million in funding just announced this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

They were among 1,334 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico that were awarded loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), including funding from the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. The total amount awarded was $266 million.

The largest award in the state – $240,850 – went to MECO Corporation in Greeneville. According to the information provided by the USDA, the metal fabrication and manufacturing company will use the funding to make upgrades to its hydraulic press equipment that should result in savings of $34,944 dollars annually and also save 291,269 kilowatts hours of electricity.

Other East Tennessee recipients and the dollar value of the award were:

  • Chasan LLC, a real estate holding company with facilities in Bristol and Greeneville, received $79,999 for installation of a solar photovoltaic system;
  • Neotiss Inc. which has a welded-tubing manufacturing plant in Morristown, was awarded $52,792 to install energy-efficient light;
  • Local Meats LLC, a butcher shop in Jefferson County founded by nine farmers, received $45,562 for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) improvements to its offices and retail facility;
  • Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company Inc. of Lenoir City was awarded $20,000 to make energy-efficient upgrades to its freezer units;
  • Advanced Labelworx Inc. in Oak Ridge, a company producing specialized compliance labels, received $20,000 for HVAC upgrades;
  • KBD LLC of  Morristown, a lessor of real estate property, also received $20,000 to purchase and install energy-efficient LED lighting and fans throughout its commercial facility; and
  • Make It Happen Enterprises LLC of Bean Station, a marina complex, was awarded $10,622 for HVAC, doorway, and refrigeration upgrades.

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