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USDA Invests in Critical Infrastructure to Lower Costs, Create Jobs, and Combat Climate Change Across South Dakota

Name
Michael Frye
Phone
City
Huron
Release Date
Dec 23, 2022

HURON, S.D., Dec. 23, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota State Director Nikki Gronli today announced the Department is investing $252,000 under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to combat climate change in rural South Dakota. USDA is also making an additional $300 million available under the Rural Energy for America Program, including $250 million through the Inflation Reduction Act, to spur further investment

“Through the REAP program, USDA is helping farmers, ag producers and rural entrepreneurs lower energy costs,” Gronli said. “We are in a unique position to make climate-smart investments to help rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements across South Dakota.” [Audio: 22 sec, wav, 4.1MB]

These funds will help people living in South Dakota:

  • Sumption Farms will receive $103,061 to help purchase and install an energy efficient grain dryer near Frederick, South Dakota. This project is anticipated to save the farm $63,626.39 in annual energy costs by replacing 1.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which is enough electricity to power 101 homes.
  • BTO Farms Inc. will receive $76,354 to make energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of a more efficient grain dryer, at a farm located near Eureka. This project will save $5,121.00 per year in energy costs and will save 69,411 (kWh) of electricity per year (55.44 percent) which is enough electricity to power six homes.
  • Jerald Ellefson will receive $59,138 to help purchase and install an energy efficient grain dryer system on the family farm near Flandreau. This project will save the farm $5,319 in annual energy costs by replacing 83,902 kWh of electricity per year, which is enough electricity to power eight homes.
  • Jennifer Bjorgaard will receive $13,616 to purchase and install a more efficient heater, doors, lights, and skylights, at an equine boarding facility located near Aberdeen. This project will save $3,543.09 per year in energy costs and will save 34,313 kWh of electricity per year (56.12 percent) which is enough electricity to power three homes.

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 a 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.

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

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