Viability Secures $1.3 million in Clean Energy Grants, Leverages $31.5 million

Viability, a West Michigan economic development consulting firm, harnessed millions in new energy investments through the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for its clients. Overall, the energy projects will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 33,519 metric tons annually.

HOLLAND, MI - October 20, 2009 - Viability, LLC "reaped" the reward of a national focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The West Michigan based economic development consulting firm secured $1.3 million in grant funding and leveraged $31.5 million in overall project investment for its clients as part of the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The federal REAP grant funds up to $250,000 for efficiency projects and $500,000 for renewable energy projects in designated rural areas. Viability assists companies prepare and submit grant applications that promote sustainability through several programs.

"Businesses are seizing the opportunity to lower operational costs and reduce their environmental footprint through clean energy technologies," said Viability President Chris Byrnes. "Even though these energy projects pay for themselves in time, the grant helps overcome the initial capital investment that accompanies new technologies."

Altogether, Viability's REAP clients will reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 33,519 metric tons annually. That amount (according to EPA estimates) is approximate to the annual electricity for all households in Ada Township, MI, or individually barbecuing with each person from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Flint and Lansing, MI combined.

Viability's lead grant writer believes that companies are recognizing the value in energy technologies.

"Nationwide, there is an increased interest and competition from businesses for grants," said Greg Lam. "One state alone saw four-times the number of applicants this year compared to last."

Even with the recession, Viability saw a 15% jump overall in awarded grants compared to 2008.

Viability's REAP clients came from six states and featured dramatic reductions in energy use and costs. Projects included:
• A greenhouse biomass boiler system that replaces 100% of natural gas usage, trims $1.6 million a year in heating costs and supports local biomass production;
• Biomass-fueled dryer for a biomass fuel facility that decreases propane usage by 87% and increases biomass fuel output by 240%;
• Energy efficiency equipment that better insulates a greenhouse structure, lowers heating requirements by 43% and increases crop yield.

The 2010 REAP program began accepting applications October 1st.

Since 2003, Viability, LLC has partnered with a wide range of businesses in over 20 states and secured millions in grants and incentives. Viability's comprehensive services include domestic and international carbon credit development, grant and incentive research, citywide carbon action plans and renewable energy project construction.

For more information in Viability, please visit


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