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USDA Invests $1.8 Million in 92 Iowa Businesses to Install Renewable Energy Systems, Create Jobs, and Address Climate Change

Cecilia Lynch
Release Date
Nov 09, 2021

Announcement Made During Visit to Elite Octane in Atlantic – Recipient of $250,000 Grant

ATLANTIC, Iowa, Nov. 9, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced USDA is investing $1,851,077 in 92 businesses in Iowa through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). These investments will help the businesses install renewable energy systems to help them cut their energy costs and increase their bottom lines.

Torres Small made the announcement while attending a roundtable event at Elite Octane just outside Atlantic. The dry mill ethanol plant received a $250,000 REAP grant to install a dryer exhaust energy recovery system. Today’s announcement prioritizes economic growth and investment in rural America’s heartland and moves President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda forward.

“When we invest in renewable fuels, we invest in the people of rural America,” Under Secretary Torres Small said. “We recognize that lowering energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers helps to create business opportunities and good jobs for people in rural towns. The investments we are announcing today also demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action. Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice president Harris, and Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural people everywhere because when rural America succeeds, all of America succeeds.”

Background: Rural Energy for America Program

USDA Rural Development is at the forefront of renewable energy financing, with options including grants and guaranteed loans. The REAP program was created in the 2002 Farm Bill. Because of the success of the program, Congress re-authorized it in the Agricultural Act of 2014.

REAP program investments provide guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for installation of renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

To learn more about Rural Energy for America Program eligibility, technical assistance, and application deadlines visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/energy-programs/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency-improvement-guaranteed-loans.

Investment recipients

View the 92 Iowa investments here: http://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ia_reap_chart_11.09.2021.xlsx

The types of projects receiving funding included installation of solar arrays, upgrade to energy efficient lighting and coolers, replacement of grain dryers, and HVAC systems.

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, 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.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.