U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ohio Rural Development Acting State Director Beth Huhn announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico.
In our area, Honeyrun Farm, a honey producer of varietal and herbal infused honey, bee pollen, soap and candles in Williamsport, will use a $14,100 grant to install a 25.2 kW roof mounted solar array. The solar array will produce an expected 30,631kWhs of renewable electricity and will offset 87 percent of the business's historical electrical consumption or the equivalent of four households.
“Rural Development is in a unique position to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs,” Huhn said. “USDA continues to prioritize climate-smart infrastructure to help rural America build back better and stronger than ever before.”
USDA is financing these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program. This program provides funding to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. These climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in rural America, which equates to enough electricity to power 35,677 homes per year.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/oh or calling 614-255-2400. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.