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On-Farm Energy Initiative

2016 New Mexico EQIP National On-Farm Energy Initiative (NOFEI)

NRCS is currently accepting applications for this initiative.  The application deadline is January 15, 2016.  Depending on fund availability and demand another evaluation period may be offered for FY 2016.

The technical and financial assistance offered through the National On-Farm Energy Initiative (NOFEI) is intended to assist agricultural producers:

  • Increase the efficiency of energy use and reduce energy costs for agricultural production
  • Increase the productivity per unit of energy consumed by equipment and lighting
  • Reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions caused when energy is generated for agricultural use 

Through the EQIP National On-Farm Energy Initiative, financial assistance is available for site-specific energy analysis of eligible farmsteads and irrigation systems. This analysis, known as an Agricultural Energy Management Plan or AgEMP, is completed by NRCS-certified Technical Service Providers. The AgEMP meets industry-standards and clearly shows:

  • Itemized energy use by individual systems to establish a baseline for electricity and other fuel improvements
  • Recommendations for equipment improvements and upgrades
  • Amount of potential energy reductions and financial savings for each recommendation
  • Cost estimates of potential improvements
  • Length of expected payback for energy efficiency upgrades

With a completed AgEMP or other qualifying energy audit, eligible producers can apply for EQIP assistance for the purchase and installation of improvements for:

Lighting

Plate coolers

Ventilation and fans

Irrigation pumps

Grain dryers

Greenhouse improvements

Maple syrup evaporators

Heating and refrigeration units

Insulation and building envelope sealing

Motor controls and variable speed drives

 

More information on how NRCS provides financial assistance for Agricultural Energy Management Plans (AgEMP) is found at the New Mexico Conservation Activity Plans website.

Eligibility and How to Apply

To be eligible for the NOFEI program, applicants must be farmers or ranchers who have control of the land and meet other EQIP program requirements. For more detailed information on eligibility and how to apply, go to: New Mexico EQIP eligibility

For an application form go to: New Mexico EQIP Homepage

To participate in the program, growers must work with NRCS to identify resource concerns related to energy conservation on the operation. NRCS will develop a Conservation Plan/EQIP Schedule of Operations that will identify the need for energy conservation on the agricultural operation.

Please contact the NRCS staff at the USDA Service Center nearest the location of your property to submit your application and to request technical assistance with developing an EQIP Conservation Plan/Schedule of Operations.

Funding Selection and Priorities

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Excel.

Applications submitted for the Energy Initiative will be evaluated first using the National Screening Worksheet:  FY 16 On-Farm Energy Initiative Screening Worksheet (PDF; 68 KB)

Priority will be given to applications that are either applying for an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), or that include at least one core conservation practice identified in a completed Agricultural Energy Management Plan or comprehensive on-farm energy audit that meets ASABE S612 Type 2 standard.

The following documents provide more information on energy audits:

The core practices being funded under this initiative are those that will result in reduced energy use on the operation :

  • Farmstead Energy Improvement (374)
  • Irrigation Water Management (449)
  • Pumping Plant (533)
  • Lighting System Improvement (670)
  • Building Envelope Improvement (672)

Applications screened as High Priority will be ranked and funded before applications screened as Medium Priority. 

The practices available in NOFEI will be funded only if recommended in an approved on-farm energy audit:

FY 16 NOFEI Practice List (PDF; 464 KB)

2016 Ranking Criteria

Applications screened as High and Medium Priority will be evaluated using the 2016 NOFEI Ranking Criteria. The ranking criteria prioritizes projects based on the estimated energy savings in millions of British thermal units (MMBtu) and estimated reductions of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions. The energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions should be farm specific and reflect fuel reduction values expected for the specific farm operation and location.

Each practice funded under this initiative must result in energy savings (MMBtu).   

The “Energy Cost Efficiency Worksheet (XLS; 73 KB),”  an agency-approved worksheet, has been developed to calculate an energy cost efficiency score for ranking purposes. The worksheet uses information from an AgEMP, other ASABE S612 compliant on-farm energy audit, or COMET Farm to calculate an energy savings to project cost score.

FY 2016 NOFEI Ranking Criteria (PDF; 74 KB)

Other Resources

For more information, please visit the NRCS Energy webpage.

Contacts

Kristin Graham Chavez
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
6200 Jefferson N.E., Suite 305
Albuquerque, NM 87109-3434
(505)761-4404 voice
(855)538-6003 fax

Athena Cholas
Resource Conservationist for Programs
6200 Jefferson N.E., Suite 305
Albuquerque, NM 87109-3434
(505)761-4419 voice
(855)538-6003 fax