Custom Carroll County gun maker, Green County firm receive solar energy grants

Berryville-based Nighthawk Custom is constructing a 4,000 square foot addition to its headquarters that will become the home of its gunsmiths and their support staff..(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/John Magsam)

Two Arkansas rural businesses received more than $555,000 between them in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install solar panels, according to a Wednesday news release.

Custom firearms maker Nighthawk Custom of Berryville in Carroll County received $260,180 to help install solar arrays expected to save the company nearly $32,000 annually. Lakeside Metal Specialists of Paragould in Greene County received nearly $296,700 to put solar panels on three buildings expected to save the company almost $36,400 annually.

The funds are part of $266 million in loans and grants to agriculture producers and rural small businesses for investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency costs. The program is part of President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.

The funds are going to 1,334 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The USDA is awarding the loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program.