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PSC, NYSERDA Announce Disaster Assistance for Farmers

Program to Replace Storm-Damaged Farm Systems and Equipment

October 17, 2011

Further Details
Public Service Commission: James Denn
james_denn@dps.state.ny.us | 518.474.7080
NYSERDA: Kate Muller
ktm@nyserda.ny.gov |518-862-1090 x3582

Albany, NY — 10/17/11 — The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced a $5 million Agriculture Disaster Program to immediately help farms replace systems and equipment damaged or lost due to Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee.

The program provides funding for energy-efficient repair and replacement of damaged electric and natural gas systems and equipment, such as milk processing, cooling, heating, and other farm systems. Emphasis will be placed on fast application response and face-to-face, on-line, telephone and other support needed by farmers.

This program was approved by the Commission and is being administered through NYSERDA with assistance from the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets. Assistance is available for equipment or systems purchased on or after August 28, 2011 for sites affected by Hurricane Irene, or September 4, 2011 for sites affected by Tropical Storm Lee.

Garry Brown, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, said: “The destruction caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee was unprecedented and the farming communities in the affected areas sustained significant damage. This authorization will provide a dual benefit of offering some relief to those communities in the face of tremendous need and avoiding lost opportunities for energy efficiency gains as those farms begin to repair and rebuild their operations.”

Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA, said: “Farmers across New York State are still struggling from damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, and many of them need to replace critical equipment and systems. The Agriculture Disaster Program will help them rebuild during this challenging time using energy efficient equipment and systems while at the same time reducing their energy costs.”

Darrel J. Aubertine, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, said: “The Agriculture Disaster Program will assist in the economic recovery of disaster impacted farms by providing funds necessary to enable agricultural operations to resume. It will also have the additional benefit of assisting these farms to rebuild with increased energy efficiency, thereby improving the long-term economic viability of impacted farms and increasing the state's ability to meet energy efficiency goals.”

Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau, said: “NYFB appreciates the strong partnership between the Public Service Commission, NYSERDA, the Department of Agriculture and Markets and our farm families. One of the biggest issues for our farm families who faced such devastating loss due to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee is the cost of replacing lost or damaged equipment and systems. NYFB is highly appreciative of Governor Cuomo’s leadership, and the assistance provided by these critical state agencies to our farm families as they start the difficult road back to rebuilding their farms.”

Program eligibility will be limited to farms and on-farm producers located within counties identified by Executive Orders 17, 21 and/or 22. Eligibility is contingent upon demonstration that the loss was suffered as a result of Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee.

Applications are available at http://nyserda.ny.gov/agriculture-disaster-program, and are for eligible farms or on-farm producers. The applications will be processed in the order in which they are received on a first-come, first served basis until December 15, 2011 or until the funding runs out. Funding will be provided at 100 percent of eligible costs minus other aid or insurance proceeds received with a maximum assistance amount of $100,000 per farm.

Farms seeking assistance will be required to provide supporting documentation for the equipment or systems for which they are seeking funding. Detailed invoices or estimates for the equipment or systems will be required for program application. Farms must also demonstrate that they contribute to the System Benefits Charge (SBC).

For more information, applicants can call 1-877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278).

Last Updated: 01/17/2014