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Agricultural News


USDA Invests $88.7 Million in Rural Oklahoma for Renewable Energy

Fri, 10 Sep 2021 17:39:08 CDT

USDA Invests $88.7 Million in Rural Oklahoma for Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico. More than $88.7 million will benefit rural Oklahoma.

“USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before,” Vilsack said. “We recognize that lowering energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers helps to expand economic development and employment opportunities for people in America’s rural towns and communities. The investments we are announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration has put rural communities at the heart of climate action and climate-smart solutions.”

USDA is financing $129 million of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural America, which equates to enough electricity to power 35,677 homes per year.

Examples in Oklahoma:

· Amelia LLC will use a $17,914 grant to install an energy efficient solar array. Amelia LLC is a family-owned creamery. This investment will be used to purchase and install a 17.82-kWh solar array. Amelia will realize $67,939 per year in savings and will replace 29,648 kWh (81.98 percent) per year, which is enough electricity to power two homes.

· Diamond Attachments will use a $6,057 grant to install energy efficient LED lighting throughout its store. Diamond Attachments LLC manufactures high quality heavy equipment attachments. This project will realize $6,323 per year in savings and will replace 68,727 kWh per year, which is enough electricity to power six homes.

USDA is financing $335 million of these investments through the Electric Loan Program. The loans will help build or improve 1,432 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $102 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

In Oklahoma:

· Central Rural Electric Cooperative will use a $88,769,000 loan to connect 1,417 consumers and build and improve 179 miles of line. The loan includes $85.3 million for Smart Grid investments, including the installation of 3,922 miles of fiber backbone. Central Rural Electric is headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It serves approximately 22,000 consumers over 4,389 miles of line in Garfield, Lincoln, Logan, Noble, Oklahoma, Pawnee and Payne counties.

The department is announcing investments today in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.

To learn more about these and other resources for rural areas, contact a USDA Rural Development state office.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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.


   

 

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