USDA’s renewable energy funding in Kansas includes solar, wind

USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today announced plans for spending $464 million on renewable energy infrastructure for rural areas in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

The USDA is financing $129 million of 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.

The climate-smart investments will conserve and generate more than 379 million kilowatt-hours in rural America, which equates to enough electricity to power more than 35,000 homes annually.

Through the Electric Loan Program, the department will invest $335 million in loans to help build or improve 1,432 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. Much of this money will go toward smart grid technology, the expansion of carbon capture and other investments in “carbon-smart technologies.”

Kansas will obtain some of this funding.

“These are all being financed from normal budget allocations from Congress,” Vilsack said in a briefing. “We’re doing the best we can to move these things forward.”

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