Off-setting the costs of renewable energy

Roger Findley, of rural Ontario, put in 51 kilowatts of new solar arrays that cost approximately $80K. The USDA Reap grant paid 25% of that. He has a total of 65 kilowatts powering a 200 horsepower irrigation pump at his well that irrigates 160 acres of alfalfa, pinto beans, wheat, and pasture.


Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have been able to direct $8.7 million to Oregon to 27 farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to install or upgrade to renewable energy technologies and make energy efficient improvements.

One of the recipients is Roger Findley, a Lincoln Heights area farmer, southwest of Ontario. He is continuing to build on the solar power system which he is using to provide power to his 200 horse-power system. This supplies water to his wheel-line sprinkler system for irrigation. Findley said he had a 14 kilowatt system in place and is adding 51 kilowatts with the new equipment for a total of 65 kilowatts. However, it does not cover all that he needs, he said, adding he could use another 100 kilowatts, but he can only apply for these grants every other year.

“It really helps,” Findley said of the his latest award. “Grants help to cover the costs.”

“As the [novel coronavirus COVID-19] continues to cost our agriculture industry their lives and livelihoods, we must do everything we can to pave a path forward toward a healthier and more prosperous future,” said Merkley in a printed statement. “Energy efficiency upgrades will help farmers and ranchers to lower their costs, cut pollution, and create jobs — a commonsense, win-win-win part of the path.”

Oregon farmers and ranchers are working hard to build their businesses and rural jobs they create can use these federal grants to help with their cost-reduction efforts with energy-efficient upgrades, according to the release.

Load comments