Biden admin steers millions toward rural clean energy grants

By Marc Heller | 02/26/2024 01:32 PM EST

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that funding through the Inflation Reduction Act will go to wind, geothermal and bio-based energy on farms.

New York wind farms.

Wind turbines rotate over cornfields in Warsaw, New York. The Biden administration announced $144 million energy projects on hundreds of farms. Julie Jacobson/AP

The Biden administration announced plans Monday to direct $144 million to small-scale energy projects on hundreds of farms, part of a joint effort between the departments of Agriculture and Energy.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the initiative at a wind energy conference in Arlington, Virginia, saying it would help small -and medium-sized farms save money and potentially boost incomes in rural communities. The department said grants could go to as many as 400 farms, possibly more.

The effort funded through the Inflation Reduction Act would expand the Rural Energy for America Program, which combines grants and loan guarantees to promote alternative energy in rural areas. The Inflation Reduction Act specifically set aside $144 million for “underutilized technologies,” which includes wind and other sources.


“By strengthening our longstanding partnership with DOE through the RAISE initiative, USDA is ensuring farmers and hardworking Americans everywhere have the opportunity to save money and earn income from smaller-scale, distributed renewable energy technologies,” Vilsack said in a news release. “These investments will create long-lasting economic benefits for their families, businesses and communities for years to come.”