JAMESTOWN, N.D., Aug. 30, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban today announced that USDA is awarding more than $4 million in grants to agriculture producers and rural small businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements that will lower their energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resilience of their operations.
“The grant awards announced today by USDA Rural Development are not just historic in the number of projects supported or the energy efficiencies that will be realized, but they’re also historic in the level of investments made and the dollars saved by our state’s rural small business owners and ag producers,” said Oban. “These are very real, very direct ways that this Administration’s priorities and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act are benefitting North Dakotans. From a rural manufacturing facility in Jamestown, ND, to a family-owned grocery store in Harvey, ND, to family farmers across the state, the Inflation Reduction Act has matched opportunity with demand, making renewable energy installations and energy efficiency improvements within reach for our friends and neighbors here in North Dakota.”
USDA is investing $266 million in 1,334 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. In North Dakota, 31 projects are being awarded, with a list of and details about those projects available here. The Department is awarding the loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), including funding from 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 program is part of the Justice40 Initiative, which is working to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits of certain federal investments reach communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.
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 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. 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.
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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