U.S. Department of Agriculture Grants Over $9 Million in Funding for Rural Renewable Energy Initiatives

Aug 22, 2019

by ASME.org

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it will be providing more than $9 million in funding to projects across the country for renewable energy and energy efficiency through the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program.

“Lowering energy costs helps rural businesses improve their bottom line and create jobs,” Rural-Business Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in America’s rural communities through strong partnerships because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

In addition to this $9 million investment from the USA, Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in FY2019. Recipients such as farmers, agriculture producers and rural-based businesses and institutions can use this funding for efforts such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.

In April 2017, President Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could help rural communities prosper. These findings were presented in a 2018 report, and include 31 recommendations. One of the biggest aspects of the report was the need to support the rural workforce.

For further information on the REAP program, click here: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency

To view the Task Force’s findings, click here: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-prosperity-report.pdf

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