USDA is providing $43.2 million in loan guarantees and $11.6 million in grants for projects through the Rural Energy for America Project (REAP). In Wisconsin, 18 projects received close to $3 million in awards in August. Funding went to projects including solar energy system purchase and installation, energy efficiency improvements to grain dryers and lighting, and to reverse osmosis equipment for maple syrup production. Helping thousands of rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers shift away from fossil-based energy by installing renewable energy systems and energy efficiency solutions has been one of the most important components of USDA’s climate mitigation investments.
With the use of USDA investments in renewable energy projects of all sizes, rural Americans are saving more than 10.4 billion kWh— enough energy to power more than 959,000 American homes annually.