Projects Advance President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda
AMHERST, MA, Nov. 2, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is awarding $145 million in loans and grants to help agricultural producers and rural small business owners make energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy investments to lower energy costs, generate new income and strengthen the resiliency of their operations.
USDA Rural Development State Director for Southern New England (CT, MA, and RI), Scott J. Soares has announced that $14 million of these loans and grants have been to Rural business owners and farmers in Southern New England through the Rural Energy for America Pro
“These awards not only reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to supporting the prosperity of rural communities, but they also mark how the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act are truly powering economic development across our country,” said Soares.
This funding is made possible in part by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis. It also advances the President’s Investing in America agenda to grow the nation’s economy from the middle-out and bottom up.
“President Biden and USDA are ensuring farmers, ranchers and small businesses are not only a part of the clean energy economy, but directly benefitting from it,” Secretary Vilsack said. “The investments announced today expand access to renewable energy infrastructure, all while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money on their energy costs.”
In Southern New England, investments will be used to build clean energy systems for small businesses and Farms across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The 28 awards in this latest round of REAP projects in Southern New England range from an $800,000 awarded to Hytone Ag-Grid LLC in Coventry, CT for an Anaerobic Digester producing over 3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year to a $28,944 award to Oxen Hill Farm in Suffield, CT for a roof mounted photovoltaic solar system producing 26,687 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. All combined, the 28 awards will produce enough energy to power over 600 homes. For a complete list of awards see www.rd.usda.gov/media/file/download/sne-reap-awards-11022023-inflation-reduction-act-0.pdf
The $145 million investments support 697 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 45 states and one territory to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and build a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make rural communities more resilient.
The Department continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. For additional information on application deadlines and submission details please contact your local USDA Rural Development state office.
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. 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 program is part of the Justice40 Initiative, which is working to ensure that 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments reach communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment. 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. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ct-ma-ri or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.
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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