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USDA develops clean energy to lower costs in South Dakota

Michael Frye
Release Date

HURON, S.D., June 27, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for South Dakota Nikki Gronli today announced that USDA is investing in Rural South Dakota through clean energy projects to lower energy bills and expand access to clean energy. USDA also unveiled the Rural Energy Resource Guide to make it easier for rural communities to identify federal funding for clean energy

"The REAP program lowers operating costs for ag producers and small businesses through renewable energy upgrades and efficiency improvement projects, such as new insulation, lighting, and heating and cooling equipment. " Gronli said. "Those improvements reduce overall energy use, benefitting all South Dakotans.”

In all, USDA is providing more than $375 million in funding through the Powering Affordable Clean Energy Program (PACE) and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Both of these programs are part of the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy and other investment areas flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

The REAP program helps agricultural producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, geothermal and small hydropower energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs for American families.

These investments will cut energy costs for family farms and other businesses, increasing their resiliency and allowing them to invest back into their communities by creating new jobs and other opportunities. For example:

  • Crown 93 Inc. near Letcher will receive $47,235 to purchase and install a 12- loop geothermal heat pump system at an agricultural producer’s farm shop. The project will save $4,753 per year in energy costs and will replace 102,655 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which is enough electricity to power nine homes.
  • Redfield Energy LLC will receive $1 million to purchase and install an ethanol production expansion system. The project will generate 239,956,624 kWh of electricity per year, which is enough electricity to power 22,142 homes.
  • Renner Corner Inc. will receive $69,540 to install more energy efficient coolers and freezers. This project will save Renner Corner Inc. $2,005 per year in energy costs and will save 26,562 kilowatt hours (kWh) (26 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power two homes.
  • Chad Malone of De Smet will receive $37,663 to purchase and install a 10- loop geothermal heat pump system. The project will save $3,622 per year in energy costs and will generate 26,225 kilowatt hours of electricity per year (31 percent), which is enough electricity to power two homes.

USDA continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes a dedicated portion for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information, contact a local energy coordinator.

Rural Development provides loans, grants and loan guarantees 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.

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.