USDA provides $2.3 billion to support renewable energy in rural communities

government funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted $2.3 billion in funding for reliable energy infrastructure and renewable energy projects to rural communities across the country, driving economic development in rural areas and helping lower energy costs for rural Americans. 

A majority of the funding will support 39 projects to improve electric infrastructure in 21 states through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee program. USDA also announced that five applicants to the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program, made possible through the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, will receive $139 million in funding for renewable energy and storage projects.

The projects made possible by the PACE awards will serve cooperatives in disadvantaged and Tribal communities in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and Nebraska. 

The Sierra Club applauded the move as a step toward grid resiliency and energy price stability for rural communities.

“This announcement makes it clear that rural America is taking a leadership position in adopting clean energy and embracing the energy price stability, jobs and economic opportunity, and cleaner air that we get from renewable energy,” said Jeremy Fisher, principal advisor for energy and climate at the Sierra Club. “Through PACE and other programs, the Biden administration is moving quickly to match that demand, and ensure communities have the tools and resources they need to create and benefit from clean, affordable, and reliable energy. By providing billions in support for reliable grid infrastructure, the Biden administration is also taking steps to keep the lights on in rural communities during increasingly extreme weather events.”

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