Atchison company earns energy grant; upgrades planned

(KAIR)--In honor of Earth Week, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kansas State Director Christy Davis announced Tuesday that more than $5.3 million is allocated for seven clean energy projects--including an Atchison project-- to lower energy bills, expand access to domestic biofuels and create jobs and new market opportunities for Kansas farmers, ranchers and businesses.

Davis, in the release, says "the USDA is helping expand access to clean energy and fueling options that promote energy independence and save Kansans money,” adding that USDA is "excited to partner with farms and small businesses to address energy solutions, economic growth and keep rural communities strong.”

In Atchison, a $500,000 grant will help purchase and install energy efficient improvements for North Star Feeds of Atchison. The company, the release explains, will replace their existing boiler with a more efficient model, insulate and shorten their water and steam lines, install a return to conserve energy and water, replace existing tanks with new insulated storage tanks, and replace existing truck-mounted diesel pumps with efficient electric models.

The project is expected to save 850 kilowatt-hours of electricity, 8,692,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 17,755 gallons of diesel fuel, and 3,410 gallons of unleaded gasoline per year, which is a 73 percent reduction in energy use and enough energy to power more than 300 homes.

The project is expected to save North Star Feeds nearly $154,886 per year in energy costs.

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