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USDA Invests Nearly $145,000 to Help Wyoming Rural Business Owners and Ag Producers Lower Energy Costs, Generate Income and Expand Operations

Shelby Johnsen
Release Date

CASPER, Wyo., Nov. 2, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) Wyoming State Director Glenn Pauley today announced that USDA is awarding nearly $145,000 in grants to help five agricultural producers and rural small business owners make energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy investments to lower energy costs, generate new income and strengthen the resiliency of their operations.

The Department is awarding the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“Wyoming business owners and ag producers have a unique opportunity to lower their energy costs through the Inflation Reduction Act,” Pauley said. “We’ve seen a lot of interest recently in the Rural Energy for America Program, and I hope to see even more IRA funding make its way to Wyoming. This historic funding will make a lasting impact for future generations.”

The investments are helping to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and build a clean-energy economy that will make rural communities more resilient.

Wyoming projects include:

  • The Buffalo KOA Journey Campground (dba Cali Boy & Miss Girl LLC) in Buffalo will install 21 energy-efficient doors and windows in its main building. The upgrades will save the business approximately 45 percent of current energy use.

  • Heartland Kubota LLC in Sheridan will purchase and install a 25 kilowatt (kW) rooftop mounted solar renewable energy system. The project will realize $689 annually in savings and will save 35,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity per year, which is enough electricity to power three homes. 
  • Lorenz Ranch Inc., a working cattle ranch near Cheyenne, will purchase and install a 19.44 kW rooftop mounted solar renewable energy system. This project will realize $3,688 annually in savings and will save 30,734 kWh of electricity yearly. 
  • Ryan Ranches Inc., a working cattle ranch located near Saratoga, will purchase and install a 21.6 kW rooftop mounted solar renewable energy system. The project will realize $3,453 in annual savings and will replace 28,776 kWh of electricity per year, which is 98 percent of its current use and enough electricity to power two homes. 
  • WYOIT LLC, a business that supplies information technology (IT) services in Cheyenne, will purchase and install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The solar installation will generate approximately 41,360 kWh yearly.

The Department continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes $144.5 million for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, see page 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register.

Background: Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act makes the largest investment in climate action in history and is lowering energy costs, bringing opportunity to communities across America and tackling the climate crisis through investments in agriculture, forest restoration, and rural communities.

Since December 2022, USDA has made up to $1.3 billion available in REAP funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. Eligible applicants include rural small business owners and agricultural producers.

The Biden-Harris Administration championed the Inflation Reduction Act to help provide new funding and unprecedented incentives to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. It is the largest single investment in rural electrification since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.

It provides funding to USDA Rural Development to help eligible organizations invest in renewable energy infrastructure and zero-emission systems and make energy-efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It will boost the long-term resiliency, reliability and affordability of rural electric systems. It will help families save money on utility bills, and it will expand rural opportunities in the clean-energy economy.

For more information on the Inflation Reduction Act, visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/inflation-reduction-act.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/wy or contact the Wyoming USDA Rural Development state office.

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.

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