CASPER, Wyo., April 22, 2022 – Today, in honor of Earth Day 2022, State Director Glenn Pauley announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing over $38,000 in Wyoming renewable energy infrastructure for three small businesses. Nationwide, the today’s announcement includes 165 projects to expand access to safe water and/or clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities, totaling nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Today’s announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, during which Biden Administration officials are traveling to dozens of rural communities to talk about the impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments, as well as President Biden’s broader commitment to ensure federal resources reach all communities in rural America. This announcement also furthers the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.
“Earth Day is a great opportunity for Rural Development to celebrate its investments in renewable energy for small businesses in Wyoming,” Pauley said. “Every year, our staff work with various businesses across the state to purchase and install renewable energy systems, or to make energy efficiency upgrades. Rural Energy for America Program grants allow our small businesses to use less energy and save on their energy costs, improving their bottom line.”
Today, USDA Rural Development is taking several actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change in rural communities.
Cali Boy & Miss Girl Company received a $6,525 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to install a 12.15 kilowatt (kW) solar array at the Buffalo KOA Journey campground in Buffalo, Wyo. The project will realize $1,320 per year in savings and will replace 14,669 kwh (kilowatt hour) or 60% of electricity use per year.
Magama Holdings LLC received a $11,875 REAP grant to install a 15 kW solar array at AlphaGraphics in Sheridan, Wyo. AlphaGraphics is a locally-owned and operated marketing and printing company. The project will realize $2,240 per year in savings and will replace 22,000 kWh (73%) per year.
PC Stock Doc received a $19,894 REAP grant to purchase and install a 24.7 kW solar array with battery storage. PC Stoc Doc provides veterinary services in Riverton, Wyo. The project will realize $3,300 per year in savings and will replace 30,000 kWh (46%) per year.
Advancing Equity in Rural Communities
USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s key priorities of investing in rural communities to ensure people have equitable access to critical resources and to combat the climate crisis. Investments in these communities will make an impact for generations to come.
For example, 165 projects in today’s announcement will help advance equity in rural communities, especially in those that have been socially vulnerable, distressed and underserved for far too long.
Clean Energy Infrastructure and Energy Efficiency Improvements
USDA is investing $787 million in renewable energy infrastructure in 36 states to help agricultural producers, rural small business owners and residents lower energy costs and make energy-efficiency improvements. The Department is making the investments under the Electric Loan Program and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
Through REAP, the Department is helping 157 rural businesses and agricultural producers get access to clean energy, while reducing their carbon footprint to make their business operations more cost-effective.
Infrastructure Improvements for Communities Hit by Severe Weather
USDA is investing $12 million to help rural communities hit by severe weather. The funds will benefit people living in 17 states, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. The Department is making the investments under the Community Facilities Disaster Grants program and the Water and Waste Disposal Disaster Loan and Grant Program.
The funds will help communities build back better by mitigating health risks and increasing access to safe, reliable drinking water and sanitary waste disposal services. Funds also will purchase emergency response equipment to help communities be better prepared and more resilient in the face of disaster.
USDA is announcing awards through several programs today in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
Background: Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour
Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA and its federal partners in the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force are working with rural communities to deliver on the promise of support for rural America.
The Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour is a multi-faceted outreach effort involving cabinet and sub-cabinet officials across federal agencies as they travel to and learn from key rural communities. These visits will highlight new federal funding and investments already underway through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a once-in-a-generation investment that will support rural communities and their infrastructure needs.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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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