Distributed Energy Resources

USDA Launches $10 Million Program For Rural Renewables Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $10 million available to help residents of rural towns develop community renewable energy projects.

The funds, available through the new Rural Energy Pilot Program, can be used to deploy community-scale renewable energy technologies and innovations to reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The technologies can include solar, wind, geothermal, micro-hydroelectric and biomass/bioenergy projects. Up to 20 percent of awarded funds may also be used for community energy planning, capacity building, technical assistance, energy efficiency and weatherization.

As part of the pilot program, the USDA is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris administration to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, advance equity and combat climate change. The points will increase the likelihood of funding for projects seeking to address the identified rural challenges.

The USDA said details on a planned informational webinar will be posted on the Rural Energy Pilot Program webpage.