An array of solar panels stand in the sunlight at Whistle Hill in Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

An array of solar panels stand in the sunlight at Whistle Hill in Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, April 7, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Federal grant awarded for Whistle Hill solar project

The annual production of the completed system is estimated to be enough electricity to power 19 homes

A federal grant of $460,000 will be used to expand a solar power system at Whistle Hill in Soldotna, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced late last month.

A March 28 news release says that the funding — a Rural Energy for America Program grant — will be used by Peninsula Solar to install a 200-kilowatt solar system with 500 kilowatts of battery storage as a “phase two project” supplementing an existing development and will generate and sell electricity to Fresh365 and three other businesses.

An array of solar panels has long filled the space behind the Whistle Hill development in Soldotna, where Fresh365, Addie Camp, Brew@602 and Frames and Things are all located.

The annual production of the completed system, the release says, is estimated to be enough electricity to power 19 homes.

The grant comes as part of a wider announcement of 541 projects across 44 states totaling $120 million, the release says.

“Through the REAP program, USDA provides grants and loans to help ag producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements,” the release reads. “These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs.”

For more information, visit rd.usda.gov/ak.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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