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USDA Invests $129 Million in Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Help Rural Businesses and Ag Producers Build Back Better

Name
Phil Eggman
Phone
City
Olympia
Release Date
Sep 09, 2021

Projects Will Support Climate-Smart Solutions to Lower Energy Costs in 48 States Including Washington

 

OLYMPIA, Sept. 9,  2021 –Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $129 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure to help agricultural producers and rural businesses lower energy costs in 48 states including Washington. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural America, which equates to enough electricity to power 35,677 homes per year. 

 “USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before,” Maxson said. “We recognize that lowering energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers helps to expand economic development and employment opportunities for people in America’s rural towns and communities. The investments we are announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions.”

USDA is financing the projects through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. The investments will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that affects our climate.

In Washington, 19 renewable energy projects will be funded totaling over $163,000 at various locations across the state. For example:

  • Weidenbach Family LLC, an insurance broker in Ellensburg, will receive a $17,450 grant to help fund the purchase and installation of a 26 kilowatt solar array, saving them the cost of electricity to power two homes.
  • Windmill Gardens LLC, which is a large scale lettuce producer in Pierce County utilizing greenhouse hydroponic technologies, will receive a         $19,750 grant to help purchase and install a 52-kilowatt solar array. The new system will save this business $3,400 per year in utility costs, enough electricity to power three homes.
  • San Juan Oriental Medicine Clinic Incorporated will receive a $9,339 grant to help purchase and install a 13.9 kilowatt solar array. This small  acupuncture practitioner in rural San Juan County will realize an estimated 11,236 kilowatt hours in business energy offset and $1,224.72 each year in savings, which is enough electricity to power one home.

“When we invest in rural infrastructure, we build opportunity and prosperity in rural communities,” said Trudy Teter, Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington State.  “Also, these investments are an example of USDA’s commitment to financing rural infrastructure that embraces renewable energy and supports America’s path to energy independence.”

To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, please contact USDA Rural Development's Washington State Office