The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an investment of $464 million to establish and improve renewable energy infrastructure. The investment will focus on rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses. With this infusion of finance, the USDA aims to lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico.
Out of the total investment, $129 million will be financed through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program supports agricultural producers and rural small businesses in terms of funding for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems. The program enables small businesses to improve energy efficiency. This portion of the investment can be expected to conserve and generate more than 379 million KWh in rural America, generating electricity capable to power as many as 35,677 homes per year.
The remaining $335 million investment will be financed through the Electric Loan Program. This entails $102 million for investment in smart grid technology to enable greater efficiency and response to local changes in electricity demand and consumption. The loans will also help in building or enhancing 1,432 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas.
With this investment, USDA continues its promotion of climate smart infrastructure to support America’s movement to build back better. The department will be announcing state specific investments in the days to come.