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USDA Rural Development Invests $62,570 in Clean Energy to Strengthen Colorado Farms and Businesses

Amy Mund
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Acting State Director Irene Etsitty announced that USDA is investing $62,570 in renewable energy projects in Colorado to lower energy costs for U.S. farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

The projects announced are being 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)

Through the REAP 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.  

“USDA partners with rural small business owners and agricultural producers across Colorado to lower energy costs and expand their businesses through the REAP program. The investments made today will lower energy costs for farmers and ag producers that can instead be used for new revenue streams for people in our rural communities,” said Etsitty. 

The projects awarded in Colorado are: 
•    Tracie Holcomb LLC dba Catacombs Fitness Collective will utilize a $20,342 grant to purchase and install an 11.475 kilowatt (kW) solar array on the commercial building in Durango, Colorado. The project is expected to save $2,717 per year. It will produce 20,877 kilowatt hours (kWh) or 138 percent of the company's historical energy usage annually. 
•    Rancho Sendero Correo will use an $18.414 grant to purchase and install an 11.315 kilowatt (kW) solar array on their guest lodge in Mancos, Colorado. The project is expected to save $2,652 per year. It will generate 20,401 kilowatt hours (kWh) or 132 percent of the company's historical energy usage per year.
•    Stagecoach Organics LLC, a poultry farm operation in Rio Grande County, will utilize a $23,814 grant to install a 14.24 kilowatt (kW) solar array that will provide power for the operation and shade for the chickens. The project is expected to save $2,100 per year. It will replace 20,790 kilowatt hours (kWh) or 83 percent of the operations energy use per year. 

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

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. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.