ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director for Rural Development Julia Hnilicka today announced USDA is offering nearly $500,000 total in grant to three Alaska organizations that will provide technical assistance to rural business owners, agricultural producers, and communities as they seek to make energy improvements and apply for federal funds.
“At USDA Rural Development, we recognize that our programs, while designed to support rural Alaskans, can be hard to navigate and we need technical assistance partners to help,” Hnilicka said. “We are excited that the three technical assistance partners we’re offering grants to today will help increase the capacity of rural Alaskans’ ability to achieve their share of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic Inflation Reduction Act. These opportunities in new investments will make energy more affordable and reduce air pollution, supporting small business opportunities and wellbeing across Alaska.”
Information Insights Inc., Nuvista Light & Electric Cooperative Inc., and Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. will each use USDA grants to provide technical assistance to rural Alaskans as they determine energy efficiency improvements, address energy insecurities, and apply for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Through their combined efforts, the recipients announced today will provide statewide coverage by targeting underutilized energy technologies and engaging with communities that will benefit the most from technical assistance.
This funding is provided through the Rural Energy for America Technical Assistance Grant Program (REAP TAG). The purpose of the REAP TAG Program is to enable applicants to provide technical assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses applying to REAP, with priority for applicants assisting distressed or disadvantaged communities, for applicants pursuing projects using underutilized technologies, or seeking grants under $20,000.
These technical assistance grants will provide hands-on support to agricultural producers in Alaska and Alaskan rural small business owners seeking federal funds for renewable energy systems, like wind, solar, energy efficiency improvements, and other energy technologies. These investments not only help producers and small businesses lower energy costs, but also access new markets, strengthen their operations, and provide critical energy resilience.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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/ak.