Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT College of Engineering Offers Free Aid for Area Businesses Seeking Energy Grants


CANYON, Texas — The West Texas A&M University College of Engineering is offering free assistance for Panhandle-area business owners seeking national grants for projects that both save and create energy.

The College recently won a $250,000 Rural Energy America Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help businesses improve their chances at scoring REAP grants.

“Amarillo-based energy developer PACE Building Efficiency approached me about creating a partnership where WT provides energy modeling as the critical first step for their clients interested in a wind and/or solar project,” said Dr. Joshua Partheepan, associate professor of engineering and power systems.  “While many of the principles are the same as large wind or solar farms, onsite production where the facility consumes that power represents unchartered territory for this technology, and we are excited our students will get real-world experience.”

Businesses seeking their own REAP grant have two 2024 application deadlines: June 30 and Sept. 30. Funding levels are uncertain after the final deadline.

Application information is available at

REAP grants help agricultural producers and rural small businesses to build new facilities that utilize wind or solar energy, or to renovate existing structures to make them more efficient.

“WT’s grant allows them to provide critical upfront assistance for our clients interested in pursuing such projects, so we’re able to offer those eligible a sound and financially feasible opportunity to use the wind and sun to power their own operations,” said Curt Besselman of PACE Building Efficiency.

The College’s REAP grant provides fund for Partheepan and his students to model energy usage and help companies decide the optimal size of their project, as well as figure out the most economically sound path forward. Partheepan’s team also prepares and submits grants for eligible production agriculture and rural businesses.

“Serious business leaders are considering a major undertaking, so we know that this is far from an academic exercise,” Partheepan said. “We are anxious to get started, and we look forward to our students driving past such projects for years to come, knowing they worked on them.”

Interested applicants can contact Partheepan at [email protected] or 806-651-5265.

Serving the needs of the Texas Panhandle is a key maxim of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised nearly $160 million.

Photo: Amarillo-based energy developer PACE Building Efficiency recently approached West Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering to find ways for WT to partner with area businesses interested in using wind and solar energy in new buildings or renovations. Pictured are Curt Besselman of PACE Building Efficiency and WT’s Dr. Anitha Subburaj and Dr. Joshua Partheepan.

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