Arkansas unveils first entirely solar-powered winery, backed by USDA Rural Development – KATV

1 minute, 21 seconds Read

As a result of the beneficial partnership with USDA Rural Development-Arkansas, Arkansas now has its first 100 percent solar-powered winery.

Recipients of the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) in 2019, Rusty Tractor Vineyards in Pulaski County were able to make improvements to its solar panel installation and energy efficiency improvements.

These improvements make the winery completely solar-powered for the entire year, except July and August when the energy is at its highest.

The Barrel room was also improved to allow for the maximum usage of each kilowatt of energy.

“We simply couldn’t have justified the cost of the solar panels or energy efficiency improvements without the REAP grant,” said Doug Meyer, co-owner of Rusty Tractor Vineyards. “It helped pay for lighting, HVAC improvements, better insulation, and more.

“I had hoped one day we could go solar but never dreamed it would become a reality; We are thankful for the help from USDA Rural Development – Arkansas; their staff was very helpful and made the application process much easier to navigate,” Meyer said.

With help from the partnership with USDA Rural Development-Arkansas and switching to fully solar, Rusty Tractor Vineyards was able to survive the tough times of the pandemic and bounce back to be named the best event center and bridal venue in the state in back-to-back years.

“Between the two grants, we have saved over $20,000 in energy costs. The savings helped us create two new jobs and saved one job,” Meyer said. “It was truly instrumental for us surviving COVID when we had almost no events for 18 months. Our partnership with Rural Development – Arkansas has been a game-changer for our business.”

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts