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REAP Invests More Than $18 Million In Iowa Clean Energy Projects

Photo Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has announced more than $18 million in investments in clean energy projects in Iowa. The funding is part of a more significant $207 million investment in renewable energy and domestic fertilizer projects aligned with the USDA’s commitment to the sustainable future of farming in America. 

Nearly 200 projects, ranging from rural farms to schools and office buildings, were chosen to receive grant money. The USDA’s Rural Development has created numerous new programs to provide loans and grants to rural communities in an effort to support growers. This financing is part of its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

Photo Courtesy Rural Development Iowa

“Producers and small businesses across the state are saving money, growing their businesses, and addressing climate change by investing in solar projects and making energy efficiency improvements through the USDA program,” Theresa Greenfield, Rural Development state director, said in a news release. “The [current] administration is hard at work making sure as many Iowans as possible can access the historic Inflation Reduction Act funding to make clean energy improvements at their farms and businesses.”

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC received a $1 million grant to install heating and reduced backset systems at its dry-mill ethanol production facility in rural Pottawattamie County.

That plant is a state-of-the-art dry-mill grain processing facility that produces more than 130 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol per year. The project is expected to replace 36,688,453 kilowatt hours per year, which is enough electricity to power more than 3,300 homes.

​​Photo Courtesy USDA

In Marshall County, Mara Transport Inc. received a $21,949 grant to assist in installing a solar array for the business. According to a press release, the solar array will help the company save more than $5,500 annually, as it should provide 100% of its energy usage moving forward.

Other notable funded projects include CS Solar’s new rooftop solar system in Decorah, which will generate more than $40,000 in annual energy sales, and new solar arrays for Red Lion Knoxville Waterworks.

Photo Courtesy Mara Transport Inc 

“[The current administration] and USDA are ensuring farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are not only a part of the clean energy economy, but directly benefiting from it,” Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary, said in a press release.

“The investments announced will expand access to renewable energy infrastructure and increase domestic fertilizer production, all while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money on their energy costs that they can then invest back into their businesses and communities.”

These federal investments in clean energy will help Iowa community members and farming operations contribute to the state’s clean energy economic goals. Overall, the new energy improvements resulting from all of the grant recipients’ efforts will not only create a more sustainable future for agriculture in the state but also contribute to a healthier environment for all Iowans. The grants are part of the federal government’s bipartisan push — via the Inflation Reduction Act — toward a net-zero carbon emissions goal by the year 2050.


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