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USDA Invests in Nine Clean Energy Projects to Strengthen California Farms and Businesses as Part of Investing in America Agenda

Jamie Welch Jaro
DAVIS, Calif.
Release Date

DAVIS, Calif., March 28, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development California State Director Maria Gallegos Herrera today announced that USDA is investing nearly $6 million in nine renewable energy projects throughout California to lower energy costs, generate new income, and support California’s farmers, ranchers, and rural small business.

"With the Biden-Harris Administration's Inflation Reduction Act, we are able to support more rural business owners and agricultural producers adopt sustainable energy solutions that provide short- and long-term benefits," said Gallegos Herrera. "These investments reduce energy costs for producers and small business owners, invest in renewable energy that benefits not only our environment but also our economy, while reaffirming the President's commitment to rural California."

Investments will cut energy costs for ag producers and business owners that can instead be used to create jobs and new revenue streams for people in their communities.

For example:

  • Pacific Pyramid LLC in Calipatria, Imperial County, will use a $1 million grant to install an energy efficient photovoltaic solar system. The system is expected to produce 1.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough electricity to power 141.08 homes.
  • Aspen Enterprises, a wholesale florist in Watsonville, will use a $278,400 grant to install solar panels that are expected to produce over 235,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
  • Erickson Farms, an almond producer in Madera, is using a $1 million grant to install solar panels predicted to produce over 1.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
  • Shinn Vineyard Management, a family operation in Lodi that provides harvesting and custom vineyard farming, is using a nearly $40,000 grant to install solar panels to offset their energy usage.

View a complete list of the California investments announced today.

Most of the projects announced today are funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combating the climate crisis, through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Under this program, USDA provides grants and loans to help ag producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change and lower energy costs. 

Today’s investments are included in a national USDA announcement totaling $120 million in 541 REAP projects across 44 states.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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/ca. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.