San Luis Valley, Colorado, [September 26, 2023] – Exciting news has been announced that will benefit rural businesses and farms based in San Luis Valley, Colorado.
The Biden-Harris Administration has announced a substantial boost of $266 million in loans and grants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to supporting agriculture producers and rural small businesses by enabling them to invest in renewable energy systems and energy efficiency.
These investments will lead to reduced energy costs, new income streams, and greater resilience for local operations, paving the way for a clean energy future.
This funding is made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at combatting the climate crisis, representing the largest-ever investment of its kind in the nation.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized the importance of this investment, stating, “Creating opportunity for rural communities means investing in farmers, ranchers, and small businesses.”
The USDA is directing the $266 million towards 1,334 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in 47 states, including Colorado and the San Luis Valley region.
The Department will award the loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
Since December 2022, USDA has made up to $1.3 billion available in REAP funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. This additional funding will be made available (by application) to small business owners and agricultural producers in the San Luis Valley area and beyond.
To date, nearly $19 million of funding has been approved across rural communities within Colorado and 100% of 8760 Solar’s clients who applied were successful in securing it.
The benefits of this government initiative are huge. Not only does it move Colorado closer to reaching its renewable energy goals, but it also reduces pollution, creates local jobs, and helps stimulate the economy.
The funding announced today represents a significant stride toward President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, designed to strengthen the American economy and combat climate change.
Importantly, this program also aligns with the Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that marginalized and underserved communities receive their fair share of the benefits.
The USDA will be making awards in various states, including Colorado, as part of its commitment to supporting sustainable energy solutions for rural America. San Luis Valley and its neighboring rural communities can look forward to applying for their share of this remarkable initiative.
The USDA is actively accepting applications and will conduct funding competitions on a quarterly basis through September 30, 2024.
For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, please refer to page 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register.
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