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USDA Invests $869,215 in Critical Infrastructure to Invest in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects Across Rural Ohio

Name
Heather Stacy
Release Date
Dec 15, 2022

COLUMBUS, Dec. 15, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ohio State Director Jonathan McCracken today announced USDA is investing $869,215 in critical infrastructure to combat climate change and expand access to clean energy for people across rural Ohio.

“USDA Rural Development is in a unique position to make climate-smart investments to help Ohio build back better and stronger,” McCracken said. “Today’s announcement will lower utility bills for rural communities by investing in the clean energy that will power our future.

USDA is making 12 investments in Ohio 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. For example:

  • In Preble County, New Madison Pullets will use a $225,000 grant to help install a 1.07-megawatt ground mounted solar array. This project is expected to save $142,400 per year for this small pullet farming operation in New Paris, Ohio. It will replace 1,465,021 kilowatt hours (52 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 135 typical U.S. households annually.
     
  • In Medina County, Accel Group Inc. will use a $45,500.00 grant to help install LED lighting to replace 463 fluorescent light fixtures throughout the warehouse and manufacturing areas. This project is expected to save this small manufacturing operation in Wadsworth, Ohio, $29,632 per year. It will replace 211,662 kilowatt-hours (56 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 20 typical U.S. households annually.
     
  • In Mahoning County, Village Pharmacy will use a $20,000 grant to help install a 34.5-kilowatt roof mounted solar array on the rooftop of Springfield Township Fire Station #21. This project is expected to save $3,479 per year. It will replace 43,495 kilowatt-hours (35.9 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power four typical U.S. household annually. The power generated will be sold to the Springfield Fire Department through a Power Purchase Agreement.

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.