Information provided by Monterey Bay Community Power.
Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) announced in a press release the launch of its Agricultural (Ag) Electrification Grant Program, supporting the replacement of fossil-fuel powered equipment with new electric equipment including tractors, coolers and boilers, forklifts, light and heavy-duty vehicles, diesel powered irrigation pumps and more.
The press release said the program is aimed at accelerating the adoption of new all-electric agricultural equipment to decrease reliance on fossil fuels, the Ag Electrification Grant Program supports local agricultural industry in the transition from fossil-fuel powered ag equipment to all-electric equipment. Funding for Community Power’s first Ag Electrification Grant Program totals $160,000, to be administered through a competitive bid process. The program is expected to provide grants to a minimum of eight ag customers up to $20,000 each to assist with “fuel-switching” or electrifying Ag equipment.
“MBCP continues to design and fund impactful programs that create meaningful greenhouse gas reductions and the electrification of our Central Coast” MBCP CEO Tom Habashi said in the release. “MBCP is excited to start accelerating the ag industry’s desire to reduce the climate impact their operations have locally and collectively.”
The ag industry makes up 8% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and industry leaders have shown interest to invest in cleaner technology in order to curb their carbon emissions and improve air quality for surrounding communities and farm workers, according to the press release. As a regional public agency focused greenhouse gas reduction, MBCP is dedicating annual funding to ag specific electrification programs beginning with this exploratory program. MBCP’s Ag Electrification Grant Program went live July 27, at 1 p.m.. Of the $160,000 allocated, $80,000 is set aside for Monterey County ag businesses, $40,000 for Santa Cruz County ag businesses, $20,000 for San Benito County ag businesses and $20,000 for ag businesses within the cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay.
“Supporting the agricultural sector through this grant program will be a great start for MBCP to begin to invest in electrifying our region’s ever important industry,” Chair of MBCP’s Community Advisory Council and Executive Director of the Monterey County Farm Bureau Norm Groot said, . “The agricultural industry continues to implement key strategies to reduce cost and meet environmental goals and MBCP is poised to be a strategic partner to help advance them.”
The release stated that Community Power is “poised to launch larger more impactful energy programs specific to the Ag sector in its next fiscal year, after learning more about what electrification projects and GHG reducing efforts are most important to local Ag customers. For more information about MBCP Energy Programs, visit mbcp.org/energy-