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May 6, 2024

USDA Will Fund More Than 700 Clean Energy Projects, Expanding Access to Domestic Biofuels

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on April 23, 2024, that it is funding more than 700 clean energy projects to lower energy bills, expand access to domestic biofuels, and create jobs and new market opportunities for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers. According to USDA, many of the projects are funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, “the nation’s largest-ever investment in combating the climate crisis.” USDA is providing $238 million in funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP):

  • REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small business owners expand their use of wind, solar, geothermal, and small hydropower energy and make energy efficiency improvements. USDA will provide more than $194 million in loans and grants through REAP to support projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico. USDA continues to accept REAP applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through September 30, 2024. The funding includes a dedicated portion for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information, contact a local energy coordinator.
  • HBIIP provides grants to fueling station and distribution facility owners, including marine, rail, and home heating oil facilities, to help expand access to domestic biofuels. USDA is awarding more than $43 million in grants through HBIIP to business owners to increase the availability of domestic biofuels in 15 states. USDA continues to accept applications for funding to expand access to domestic biofuels. These grants will support the infrastructure needed to reduce out-of-pocket costs for transportation fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers, and storage tanks. Applications are being accepted quarterly through September 30, 2024.