JACKSON, Aug. 30, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Mississippi Dr. Trina N. George today announced that USDA is awarding loans and grants to agriculture producers and rural small businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements. Funding is made possible in part by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis.
"We’re committed to investing in Mississippi’s infrastructure, and efficient energy systems are going are going to be an increasingly important component as we plan for the future,” said George. “We know that energy costs represent a huge expense for producers and business owners in Mississippi, and these investments represent a terrific opportunity for local producers and small businesses to lower their energy costs, generate new income, and improve their operations overall.”
“Creating opportunity for rural communities means investing in farmers, ranchers, and small businesses,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden-Harris Administration is ensuring our producers and business owners are not only a part of the clean energy economy but profiting from it. These once-in-a-generation investments in renewable energy, like wind and solar, and energy efficient technologies create new markets and real cost savings for our small and mid-sized agricultural operations and Main Street businesses, building and keeping wealth in rural America.”
USDA is investing $266 million in 1,335 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The Department is awarding the loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), including from the funding made possible by the landmark Inflation Reduction Act.
Since December 2022, USDA has made up to $1.3 billion available in REAP funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. Eligible applicants include rural small business owners and agricultural producers.
The funding announced today advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to grow the American economy from the middle-out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
In Mississippi for example:
- Revival Property 109 LLC, a boutique retreat located in Petal, Mississippi, will use a $19,961 grant to install a 100-kilowatt (kW) battery bank to the existing large ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar system, which converts sunlight directly into electricity. This project battery will improve the efficiency of the PV solar system as well as minimize and eliminate the dependence on backup propane generators, saving $23,500 per year.
- Wilbert Koehn Farm will use a $19,693 grant to install oxygen-monitoring equipment with computer controllers for pond-aeration systems at three catfish-production ponds totaling 35 acres in Brooksville, Mississippi. This includes a dissolved oxygen (DO) monitoring buoy and aerator controllers. The project will save $12,509, 442 kWh of electricity, and 3,998 gallons of diesel annually.
- Dustin Richmond poultry operation will use a $12,784 grant to install energy efficient doors and curtains, tunnel fans, ventilation, and heating/cooling systems to four poultry broiler grower houses located in Lawrence, Mississippi. The project will generate $2,697.00 in savings annually, a 5.98 percent reduction from energy consumption of the 12-month period. Additionally, this project will save 13,461 kilowatt hours of electricity and 1,130 gallons of propane.
USDA is making awards in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam and Puerto Rico.
The Department expects to make additional awards in the coming months.
USDA continues to accept applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes $144.5 million for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, see page 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register.
Background: Inflation Reduction Act
As a core pillar of Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Inflation Reduction Act makes the largest investment in climate action in history and is lowering energy costs, bringing opportunity to communities across America and tackling the climate crisis through investments in agriculture, forest restoration, and rural communities.
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.
It 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.
It will boost the long-term resiliency, reliability and affordability of rural electric systems. It will help families save money on utility bills, and it will expand rural opportunities in the clean-energy economy.
For more information on the Inflation Reduction Act, visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/inflation-reduction-act.
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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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.