Submitted by USDA Rural Development.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded a $37,753 renewable energy grant to Lopez Garage LLC, one of seven renewable energy projects awarded in Washington to lower energy bills, generate new income, create jobs, and strengthen competition for Washington’s small businesses and farms.
“The Biden-Harris administration is wisely investing in the rural people of Washington state because they put their ingenuity and hard work into strengthening our rural communities,” said Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in the state. “Powering small rural businesses with modern, renewable energy infrastructure creates good-paying jobs and supports opportunities for people, driving economic prosperity and security, which is good news for both the economy and the environment.”
The January 22nd announcement is part of USDA awarding $157 million for 675 projects in 42 states including the seven projects in Washington through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which helps cut energy costs for small rural businesses, farmers, and ag producers that can instead be used to create jobs and new revenue streams for people in their communities. Lopez Garage LLC, an existing business on Lopez Island in rural San Juan County, will use their grant to purchase and install a 36,562 kilowatt (kW) solar system, saving $3,121.87 annually and replacing 65,722.9 kilowatt hours (kWh) (44 percent energy savings) per year.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loans to help ag producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, and other forms of clean energy and make energy efficiency improvements. These innovations help them increase their income, grow their businesses, address climate change, and lower energy costs for American families. USDA continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes a dedicated portion for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, see page 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register.
To learn more about USDA Rural Development programs, visit https://www.usda.gov/.