Often when we think of solar or efficient energy solutions, the urban and suburban household comes to mind. This has been the norm for many years as the efficiency of renewable energy was not up to par with the survivability needs in rural areas. With all the innovations in eco-friendly energy technologies in recent years however, it is now viable to have renewable energy in rural areas, and the USDA will be helping make it more accessible.
The United States Department of Agriculture announced that they would be spending approximately $63 million in loans and grants on over 260 new renewable energy and energy efficient projects. This is being done through their Rural Energy for America Program otherwise known as REAP.
In their press release Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated, “This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities. Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports home-grown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.”
This money will be used on all manner of projects from photovoltaic solar system on a farm in Berlin Heights, Ohio to wind turbines in Chatfield, Minnesota. By making the financial burden less for renewable energy projects, the hope is to bring another aspect of residential life into the eco-friendly energy fold.
Funds will continue to be put into the system and the application process for the next round for REAP grants begins November 12th.