Funding help to install solar hot water on dairy farms

North Carolina dairy farmers may be eligible for funding to help install solar hot water systems on their farms. A grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to the western North Carolina-based Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) can supply 50 percent of a dairy farm's solar hot water system installation costs up to $10,000.

Dairy farms require large amounts of hot water during the pasteurization and equipment cleaning process. RC&D says that several dairy farmers in the state have already taken advantage of the opportunity to use solar to heat pasteurization water, and that savings in energy costs are immediately apparent and can continue to compound over the life of the system.

Projects are also eligible for a 35 percent North Carolina state tax credit if placed in service before 2016 and a 30 percent federal tax credit as well. For information about tax credits, go to desireusa.org

Farmers selected for NRCS demonstration projects have to meet certain eligibility requirements.

The mission of Mountain Valleys RC&D is to "initiate actions that will improve economic conditions, enhance and/or preserve natural resources and balance land and water management activities in a widely divergent geographic area of North Carolina."

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