Hundreds of solar panels are seen in Limestone. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

Maine’s two United States senators say nine rural businesses in the state will receive nearly $432,000 for energy efficiency projects.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King say the money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program will be used to purchase, construct and install solar panels or mechanisms to convert wood into pellets.

In a joint statement, the senators say that energy efficiency will help the businesses save money, “increase competitiveness and reduce their environmental footprint.”

The largest grant, of $200,000, will go to T&D Wood Energy, a wood pellet manufacturing facility in Sanford. It will use the money to construct a mid-sized wood pellet mill.

Porchside Veterinary Care in Dresden, will receive more than $4,200 to purchase and install roof-mounted solar panels.

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