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USDA Invests in 26 Clean Energy Projects to Strengthen Montana Farms and Businesses

Jamie Welch Jaro
Release Date

BOZEMAN, Mont., March 28, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Montana State Director Kathleen Williams today announced that USDA is investing nearly $2 million in 26 renewable energy projects throughout Montana to lower energy costs, generate new income, and support Montana’s farmers, ranchers, and rural small business.

“One way to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses retain more income for their families and communities is by helping them lower their operating costs - in this case, what they pay for energy,” Williams said. “Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency is a big win for small enterprises, and these projects show USDA Rural Development’s commitment to helping foster rural prosperity, while at the same time making steps to address climate change.”

Some of the investments announced today include:

  • White Enterprises Inc. in Bigfork will use a $99,977 grant to install a 48 kW solar system to offset power use at a convenience store. This project is expected to save $3,384 in annual energy costs.
  • Graze & Roam LLC, a small cattle ranch near Victor, will use a $39,750 grant to install a 25.01 kW photovoltaic system. Power generated by this system will be used for grazing pasture irrigation, lights, power for daily use, and heat lamps for seasonal use in the barn. This project is expected to save the ranch $3,398 in annual energy costs.
  • Terminus Distillery in Dillon will use a $81,899 grant to purchase and install energy efficiency improvements including new insulation, windows, doors, and LED lighting. The project is expected to save $9,614 in annual energy costs and reduce energy use by 627,227 kilowatt hours (kWh) which is nearly 80 percent of its historical utility bills or enough electricity to power 58 homes.
  • Outback Wholesale in Yellowstone County will use a $89,768 grant to install a 15 kilowatt (kW) wind turbine. This installation is expected to save this small, wholesale garage door business $4,137 in annual energy costs.

View a complete list of the Montana investments announced today.

Most of the projects announced today are funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combating the climate crisis, through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Under this program, USDA provides grants and loans to help ag producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs. 

Today’s investments are included in a national USDA announcement totaling $120 million in 541 REAP projects across 44 states.

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