Rural Utilities Service's ACE Program
This event was held on the Zoom Webinar platform on Tuesday, May 30.
Hear from Christopher A. McLean, Assistant Administrator of Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Electric Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture about its Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) program — a $1 billion rural utility loan program created in Section 220001 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — on Tuesday, May 30, from 3-4 p.m. ET. The webinar will provide background information about the ACE program, provide a timeline and instructions about the application process, and offer an opportunity to ask questions.
ACE is an expansion of an existing U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Services (RUS) program that provides competitive-rate loans for renewable and storage projects for the benefit of rural customers with up to 50 percent loan forgiveness possible [more about the program below]. Of concern is that most rural public power utilities are quite small – averaging less than 3,000 meters and 7 or fewer employees – and may not have the staff and budget resources to apply for an ACE loan. Compounding the difficulty, the ACE deadlines may be quite tight.
ACE makes available $1 billion in additional funding for the Electric Loans for Renewable Energy program administered by RUS. Traditionally RUS Electric Loans for Renewable Energy loans:
- Are made at a rate equal to the average tax-exempt municipal bond rate of similar maturities; and
- Proceeds can be used for wind, solar, hydropower, biomass, or geothermal projects.
Application Process: Qualifying for ACE loans is expected to be a two-step process: applicants must first submit a letter of intent and then, after being vetted by RUS, submit a formal application. RUS is expected to publish guidance including a solicitation of letters of intent within weeks.
Christopher A. McLean, Assistant Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Electric Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Zoom Webinar Application: You’ll need a strong internet connection, in order to run the Zoom webinar platform. Visit Zoom.test to ensure you are able to join a meeting.
- Audio: We recommend using your computer mic/audio to listen to the webinar (alternatively a call-in number will be provided).
Log In Credentials and Recording
- Zoom Links: Zoom login credentials will be sent out after registration.
- Recording: This webinar will be recorded and the recording will be emailed to attendees within a week after the event.
- Sarah Kulaga, Government Relations Assistant: [email protected]