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USDA Invests $121 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change Across Rural America

Name
Whey McGrew
City
Alexandria
Release Date
Aug 24, 2022

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh today announced USDA is investing $121 million in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural America. The investments include $111 million for 289 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities.

“Rural America is on the front lines of climate change, and our communities deserve investments that will strengthen all of our resilience,” Bronaugh said. “The Biden-Harris Administration has created a roadmap for how we can tackle the climate crisis and expand access to renewable energy infrastructure. The investments we’re announcing today and those that will be made possible by historic funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will strengthen our energy security, create good-paying jobs and save Americans money on their energy costs.”

The funding will help people in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps rural residents, businesses and communities address economic development, infrastructure and social service needs. 

These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest ever federal investment in clean energy for the future. For example, the Act includes $14 billion in funding for USDA programs that support the expansion of biofuels and help rural businesses and electric cooperatives transition to renewable energy and zero-emission systems.

Background:  

Bronaugh highlighted a total of 415 investments that USDA is making through three programs specifically designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are Community Facilities Disaster Grants, Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants, and Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Grants.

The investments will help state and local government entities, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Tribes construct, renovate or purchase and install equipment for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. They also will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems as well as make energy efficiency improvements. The investments will also help with energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments. Projects funded in Louisiana are listed below:

  • BBB Supermarket LLC in Albany, Louisiana, will use a $20,000 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to install a cool roof-coating. This project is expected to save $25,205 per year. It will replace 147,744 kilowatt hours (kWh) (12 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 14 homes for one year.
  • JohnPac LLC in Crowley, Louisiana, will use a $15,201 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to install LED lighting. This projected is expected to save $25,704 per year. It will save 114,516 kilowatt hours (kWh) (47 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 11 homes.
  • Uno Investments Group Inc., a convenient store in Mansura, Louisiana, will use a $48,750 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to purchase a solar panel system. This project is expected to save $5,728 per year and replace 208,249 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually (170 percent of the company's energy use), which is enough energy to power 19 homes.
  • Glen Hetzel in Jennings, Louisiana, will use a $46,408 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to install a grain drying system. This project is expected to save $7,071 per year. It will replace 40,547 kilowatt hours (kWh) (12 percent of the company s energy use), per year, which is enough energy to power four homes.
  • Burregi Inc. Galliano Food Store in Galliano, Louisiana, will use a $49,875 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to install a cool roof coating. This project is expected to save $13,860 per year. It will replace 138,600 kilowatt hours (kWh) (14 percent of the company’s energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 13 homes.
  • Jubilee Justice Inc., in Alexandria, Louisiana, will use a $42,108 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to help purchase a solar rice mill. This project is expected to save $4,868 per year. It will replace 60,079 kilowatt hours (kWh) (90 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power six homes.
  • Longview Enterprises Inc., in Paulina, Louisiana, will use a $42,804 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to install a cool roof coating. This project is expected to save $8,324 per year. It will replace 83,236 kilowatt hours (kWh) (11 percent of the company s energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power eight homes.
  • Southland Dodge Chrysler Jeep LLC in Houma, Louisiana, will use a $260,857 Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant to purchase a solar panel system. This project is expected to save $78,721 per year. It will replace 354,103 kilowatt hours (kWh) (41 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 33 homes.

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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.