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Biden-Harris administration helps rural Kentucky business owners, farmers lower energy costs, generate income

Greg Thomas
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky State Director Dr. Tom Carew today announced over $4.9 million in grants that will help business owners and farmers in rural Kentucky lower their energy costs.

The department is awarding these grants through the Rural Energy for America Program.

“By investing in these clean energy projects, we’re not only helping the environment but also helping each business’s bottom line,” said Carew. “These investments show the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to helping the economy from the middle out and the bottom up.”

Today’s announcement includes:

  • Berea College will use a $100,000 Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Grant to conduct 26 energy audits over 24 months.
  • Blake Edwards Farms Inc. will use a $136,827 grant to install a Sukup 2418 grain-drying system, which is expected to save $15,091 and 288,741 kilowatt hours of energy.
  • Lock 7 Hydro Partners LLC will use a $338,117 grant to renovate a power generator and install a log boom. This project will restore Generator Number 3, reduce trash and tree entanglements, and improve boat safety while generating 2,863,768 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

A complete list of grant recipients can be found on our website.

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 - Rural Energy for America Program
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.

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.