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$207M USDA boost for farm renewable energy projects


In a landmark move for sustainable agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $207 million in grants and loans to various renewable energy and fertilizer projects.

This initiative is a part of the broader Inflation Reduction Act, spearheaded by the Biden Administration, to foster economic growth in rural areas and combat climate change. 

The lion's share of this funding supports solar infrastructure, with over $65 million allocated to around 450 solar projects. These projects range from small-scale installations to larger systems, each receiving funding in accordance with their scope and impact. 

Anaerobic digestion projects, another key component of this initiative, received substantial backing as well. Despite some environmental concerns, close to 30 biodigester projects have been granted over $25 million. These projects are crucial for generating biogas, a renewable energy source. 

The USDA's commitment extends to the realm of eco-friendly fertilizers. Under its Fertilizer Production Expansion Program, $50 million was awarded to seven projects across different states. These funds are aiding in the advancement of fertilizer factories, including a notable algae-based soil treatment facility.  

The most significant investment in this category is a $32.8 million grant for constructing a new anaerobic digester facility by Biogas Corp in North Carolina. 

The funding also encompasses other sustainable projects such as eco-friendly refrigeration systems, high-tech fertilizer facilities, and wind turbines, with the latter receiving close to $2 million. 

Through these diverse investments, the USDA is not only contributing to the reduction of agriculture's carbon footprint but also reinforcing the role of farmers, ranchers, and small businesses in the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. 

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