U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development Bob Morgan today announced that USDA is awarding $12.5 million in grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements that will lower their energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resilience of their operation. This funding is made possible in part by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis.
“From family-owned grocery stores to local farmers markets, we have seen energy efficient projects make massive changes to our climate in rural Pennsylvania,” Morgan said. “These projects show that rural Pennsylvanians are aware of the actions we must take to provide a better future.”
The projects were possible through the Rural Energy for America Program or REAP. The investment includes 108 projects in Pennsylvania. Eighty-four of these projects were made through the Inflation Reduction Act.
This is the first tranche of announcements being made through the REAP program. The Department expects to make additional awards in the coming months.
USDA continues to accept 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
As a core pillar of Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda, 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.
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.
Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Administration is delivering on its promise to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across America.
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: www.rd.usda.gov/inflation-reduction-act.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest 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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