WASHINGTON – This week, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Congressional Leaders to announce an $11 billion investment in rural electric cooperatives that expand clean, affordable, and reliable energy in rural communities around the country. The announcement represents the largest investment in rural electric since the New Deal and will create more than 90,000 good-paying jobs. Chairwoman Stabenow played a leading role in securing this funding in the historic climate legislation passed in the last Congress.
Chairwoman Stabenow said: “Across the country, rural electric cooperatives power the lives of 42 million Americans. For Michigan families, this investment means lower electricity bills, reducing pollution, and improved health. It is an investment in a sustainable and clean future for our children and all the generations of children to come.”
The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service is creating two new initiatives to expand clean, affordable, and reliable energy in rural communities.
Powering Affordable Clean energy (PACE) makes $1 billion available in partially forgivable loans to renewable energy developers and electric service providers, including municipal, cooperative, and investor-owned and Tribal utilities to help finance large-scale solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower projects in addition to energy storage projects.
The Empowering Rural America program (New ERA) program has $9.7 billion in budget authority to assist rural electric cooperatives in achieving the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the long-term resiliency, reliability, and affordability of rural electric systems.
More information is available here.
Photos from Tuesday’s event at the White House are available here.