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USDA Invests $32 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Lower Costs, Create Jobs, and Combat Climate Change in Rural North Carolina

Name
Robert Kerns
City
Raleigh
Release Date
Dec 15, 2022

Department Makes Funding Available Under the Inflation Reduction Act to Expand Renewable Energy in Rural Communities


RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 15, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA is investing $32 million in critical infrastructure to lower energy costs, expand access to clean energy for people across rural North Carolina, and combat climate change.

USDA is also making an additional $300 million available under the Rural Energy for America Program nationwide, including $250 million through the Inflation Reduction Act, to spur further investment.

“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.”

In North Carolina:

  • In Alexander County, Piedmont Composites & Tooling LLC will use a $72,049 grant to purchase and install a 296-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to save 427,702-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 39 homes.
     
  • In Caldwell County, NC Powersports Honda of NC will use a $44,852 grant to purchase and install a 117.3-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to produce 158,756-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 14 homes.
  • In Davidson County, Cider Bros LLC will use a $59,400 grant to purchase and install a 119-kilowatt solar array. The system will produce 164,857-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 15 homes.
  • In Camden County, Albertson’s Farms Inc will use a $49,410 grant to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of a grain dryer. The system is estimated to save 237,781-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 22 homes.
  • In Mecklenburg County, Baucom's Nursery Company will use a $98,845 grant to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of a new boiler system. The system is estimated to save 3,866,256-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 351 homes.
  • In Pender County, Craig King Farms LLC will use a $156,040 grant to purchase and install a 332-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to produce 507,478-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 46 homes.
  • In Polk County, East Field Farm LLC will use a $84,976 grant to purchase and install a 180.8-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to produce 289,551-kilowatt in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 26 homes.
  • In Richmond County, Agri-Kode LLC will use a $73,416 grant to purchase and install a 174.8-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to produce 256,801-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 23 homes.
  • In Sampson County, J&L Smith Farms LLC will use a $81,396 grant to purchase and install a 194-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to produce 307,037-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 28 homes.
  • In Sampson County, Richard Horace Boney will use a $31,284 grant to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of a center pivot irrigation system. This system will save 47,917 kilowatt hours in its first year.
     
  • In Surry County, Christopher Paul White will use a $32,146 grant to purchase and install a 54.7-kilowatt solar array. The system is estimated to produce 106,377-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 10 homes.
  • In Wake County, Coc Surry LFG will use a $2,180,000 loan to purchase and install a 1.6-megawatt landfill gas collection and combustion system. The system is estimated to produce 7.3-million-kilowatt in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 665 homes.
  • In Warren County, Virginia Line Solar LLC will use a $25,000,000 loan to purchase and install a 48.57-megawatt  solar system. The system is estimated to produce 88,880,098-kilowatt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 8,080 homes. 

“These investments are an example of USDA’s commitment to financing rural infrastructure, embracing renewable energy and supporting America’s path to energy independence,” said Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight. “Through the REAP program, USDA is investing $32 million to help North Carolina farmers, ag producers and rural entrepreneurs lower energy costs. People living in rural America will benefit from these lower costs.”

USDA is making 844 investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. 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.

USDA also announced today that it will make $300 million available under the Rural Energy for America Program to expand renewable energy and support energy-efficiency projects for people living in rural America. This funding includes $250 million provided by the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act. 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 their local USDA Rural Development 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 Dec 15, 2022, Federal Register.

Background:
The Rural Energy for America Program investments announced today reflect the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.

In August, Congress passed the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce energy costs for families and create thousands of good-paying jobs for people across rural America. The Inflation Reduction Act represents the largest single investment in rural electrification since the passage of the Rural Electrification Act in 1936.

The Act provides funding to USDA Rural Development to help eligible entities purchase renewable energy and zero-emission systems and make energy-efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, it provides:

  • Up to $1 billion for RUS loans for renewable energy infrastructure; up to $2.025 billion for the RBCS Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), with $303 million set aside for underutilized technologies and technical assistance.
  • Up to $500 million in RBCS grants for infrastructure improvements to blend, store or distribute biofuels. This includes installing, retrofitting or upgrading dispensers for ethanol at retail stations as well as home heating oil distribution centers.
  • Up to $9.7 billion for RUS to offer loans, grants, loan modifications and other financial assistance to support the purchase of renewable energy systems, zero-emission systems and carbon capture systems.

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.

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.

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