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Biden-Harris Administration Helps Rural Business Owners and Agricultural Producers Save Money on Energy Costs and Create Jobs in Hawaii/Western Pacific

David Rush
Release Date

USDA to Make $21 Million in Technical Assistance Grants Available Through Funding from the Inflation Reduction Act

HILO, HAWAII July 13, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Hawaii State Director Chris Kanazawa today announced the availability of grants to help Hawaii and the Western Pacific agricultural producers and rural small businesses access federal funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.

“The Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act is making sure rural people get a fair chance at grants to make energy more affordable, create new economic opportunity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Kanazawa said.  “The technical assistance grants I am announcing today will provide hands-on support to local farmers, ranchers, and rural small business owners seeking federal funds for renewable energy systems, like wind and solar, and energy efficiency measures. These investments will be supportive of Governor Green’s Clean Energy Future initiatives in helping producers and small businesses lower energy costs, access new markets and strengthen their operations.”

USDA is making $21 million in technical assistance grants available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to help prospective applicants access the program. Eligible recipients for these grants include state, Tribal or local governments; colleges and universities; electric cooperatives and utility companies; and for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Recipients may use the funds to:

  • Help rural agricultural producers and small business owners apply for REAP funding.
  • Provide information on how business owners and agricultural producers can improve the energy efficiency of their operations and use renewable energy technologies and resources.
  • Conduct required energy assessments and audits.
  • Help agricultural producers and small business owners plan, build or develop renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.

USDA will give funding priority to applicants proposing to assist distressed or disadvantaged communities, applicants pursuing projects using underutilized technologies and applicants seeking grants under $20,000.

The Department also encourages interested applicants to contact their USDA Rural Development state office.

For additional information, see the Federal Register.

Inflation Reduction Act: Background

This announcement is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to grow the American economy from the bottom up and the middle out by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, driving over $470 billion in private-sector manufacturing investments, creating good-paying jobs, and building a clean-energy economy to tackle the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient.

The Biden-Harris Administration championed the Inflation Reduction Act to help provide new funding and unprecedented incentives to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. It is the largest single investment in rural electrification since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.

Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Administration is delivering on its promise to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across America. The Act provides funding to USDA Rural Development to help eligible organizations invest in renewable energy infrastructure and zero-emission systems and make energy-efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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