U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utah State Director Michele Weaver recently announced that the USDA is awarding loans and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in rural Utah. These investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements will lower energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resilience of operations.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to renewable energy sources that save thousands of dollars.” says Weaver. “We are honored to provide opportunities for affordable investments in clean energy that can translate in economic growth and increased sustainability for our rural Utah communities.”
USDA is investing nearly $2.5 million in 13 grants that include projects located in Bluff, Kamas, North Logan, Moab, Mount Pleasant, Price and Rocky Ridge, Utah. The department is awarding the loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), including funding made possible by President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis.
The investments include, for example:
- Barred Choice in Price, Utah will use an $887K grant toward the purchase and installation of a 1,398 kilowatt (kW) solar array. Barred Choice will save $99.8K per year. This project will save enough electricity to power 184 homes.
- Red Arrow Ranch in Kamas, Utah, will use a $336K grant toward the purchase and installation of a 250 kilowatt (kW) solar array, which will save approximately $40.5K per year. This project will save enough electricity to power 33 homes.
- Wilson Farms in Moab will use a $9.7K grant toward the purchase of three solar powered wheel line movers. Wilson Farms is an agriculture producer; they will replace existing gas powered movers with the new solar and battery operated movers.
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.
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.