The Department of Agriculture reports record demand for funding to advance affordable and reliable clean energy in rural America.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “The Inflation Reduction Act is driving investment in rural communities across the nation, particularly in places that for too long have been left out or left behind.” The Inflation Reduction Act made nearly $13 billion available to support clean energy infrastructure for rural America through USDA Rural Development programs. In May, USDA made $9.7 billion available under the New Empowering Rural America program for member-owned rural electric cooperatives, and received 157 proposals from nearly every state. Also in May, USDA made $1 billion available under Powering Affordable Clean Energy to fund new clean energy projects and energy storage in rural America.
So far, USDA has received requests for more than $7.8 billion through letters of interest. USDA has also seen substantially more interest than funding available under the Inflation Reduction Act in USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.