Rural Washington Can Expand Clean Energy Investments with $568,938 from Inflation Reduction Act
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is making 10 investments totaling $568,938 through the Rural Energy for America Program in Washington State. This program helps farmers, ag producers and entrepreneurs purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses lower energy costs.
"Washington State's farmers, ag producers and rural entrepreneurs can lower their energy costs and make climate-smart investments through USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP),” said Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington State. “More grant funding has been made available through the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden."
- Borton & Sons LLC will use a $250,000 grant to purchase a 768-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system and install on the roof of the fruit packing and cold storage warehouse. Borton & Sons is a family farm that has grown apples, pears, and cherries since 1912 in rural Yakima County. This project is expected to save the farm approximately $52,500 per year in electric cost and replace 1,049,996 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough energy to power 105 homes.
- Port Townsend Inn dba Oh & Oh Enterprises, Inc. will use a $49,998 grant to purchase and install energy efficient ductless heat pumps to replace existing electric resistive wall-mounted heaters in 38 guest rooms. Port Townsend Inn is a hotel on the Olympic Peninsula that has been in operation since 2006. This project is expected to save the business approximately $4,605 per year by reduce their electric usage by 47,248 kWh per year, which is enough energy to power almost 5 homes.
- Black Star Ranch LLC will use a $53,257 grant to purchase a 96-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system and install on the roof of the agricultural producers hop drying facility. Black Star Ranch is a 5th generation family farm that has grown apples and hops for more than 80 years. This project is expected to save the farm approximately $212,100 per year in electric cost and replace 225,360 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough energy to power 23 homes.
Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA is investing $285 million in critical infrastructure to combat climate change and expand access to clean energy for people across rural America. Secretary Vilsack also announced the Department will be making an additional $300 million available for the Rural Energy for America Program Available in the coming days, $250 million of which was made possible by President Biden’s historic Inflation Reduction Act..
“People in rural America are on the front lines of climate change, and our communities deserve investments that will strengthen our Country’s resilience,” Vilsack said. “President Biden has created a roadmap for how we can tackle the climate crisis and expand access to renewable energy infrastructure, all while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money on their energy costs. These investments underscore the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to providing funding and resources to rural people and communities across the country to help drive economic security and prosperity.”
The deadline to apply for grants is March 31, 2023. Applications for technical assistance grants are due Jan. 31, 2023. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the USDA Rural Development Washington State Energy Coordinator well in advance of the application deadlines to discuss their project and ask any questions about the REAP program or the application process. Additional information on the required materials and how to apply for the REAP program are available in the December 15, 2022 Federal Register.
This commitment to cleaner energy will help USDA Rural Development provide resources to reduce climate pollution and ensure that rural people and their communities have access to a clean, secure energy supply to keep people and economies prepared for the future. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.