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USDA Invests Nearly $2 Million to Deploy Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Power Rural Arizona Homes

Jamie Welch Jaro
Release Date

USDA Rural Development Arizona State Director Charlene Fernandez today announced the Biden-Harris Administration is investing nearly $2 million in a northeast Arizona project to power up to 100 homes using renewable energy.

“The reality is that far too many people do not have access to electricity for their homes, for heating, cooling for everyday use such as refrigerating critical medication for so many of our elders,” Fernandez said. “Today, through the investment of the Biden-Harris Administration we will be one step closer to closing the equity gap in rural Arizona.”

Cooperatives for a Better World will use a $1.9 million grant to help Navajo Power Home to install stand-alone solar photovoltaic systems with battery storage capacity in up to 100 homes in the Former Bennet Freeze Area in Northeast Arizona. This project will provide long-term energy security to an indigenous community and other low-income households, including seniors and veterans.

This announcement is part of four total awards announced today by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. The Biden-Harris Administration is investing $6.6 million across the country to help people living in rural towns develop community-sized renewable energy projects that will help them lower their energy costs and create jobs. 

These grants are part of the Rural Energy Pilot Program (REPP) which allows for community-driven solutions to address high energy costs and pollution through renewable energy systems, including wind, solar, and other technologies like geothermal, micro-hydroelectric and biomass/bioenergy. A portion of the awarded funds may also be used for community energy planning, capacity building, technical assistance, efficiency and weatherization. This program, unique within USDA Rural Development, will provide historically underserved communities with the opportunity to keep essential systems functioning during climate change related extreme weather events and build resiliency directly into their energy infrastructure.

The investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to making environmental justice a part of every agency’s mission to address the disproportionate health, environmental, economic and climate impacts on disadvantaged communities.

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/az. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.