USDA invests $2 million in rural Arizona renewable energy infrastructure

Apr 12, 2023, 4:35 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday announced $6.6 million in investments for renewable energy infrastructure projects in rural communities in three states, including Arizona.

Non-profit organization Cooperatives for a Better World and Navajo Power Home will use $1.9 million to develop infrastructure to power up to 100 northeast Arizona homes.

The grants will be allocated to install stand-alone solar photovoltaic systems — which convert sunlight into electricity using solar panels — in the Former Bennett Freeze Area for long-term energy security.

Navajo Power Home works on utility-scale clean energy projects for off-grid homes on tribal lands.

“The reality is that far too many people do not have access to electricity for their homes, for heating, cooling for everyday use such as refrigerating critical medication for so many of our elders,” USDA Rural Development Arizona State Director Charlene Fernandez said in a press release.

“Today, through the investment of the Biden-Harris Administration we will be one step closer to closing the equity gap in rural Arizona.”

Two projects in Alaska and another in Oklahoma will also receive funding as part of the Rural Energy Pilot Program. REPP funds community-driven solutions to energy costs and pollution in underserved areas.

Non-profit organizations, state organizations, Tribes, municipalities and other public bodies can apply for REPP grants. Funds can go toward planning, building and installing community-scale renewable energy technologies and systems.

“People from rural areas make up America’s spirit and character and provide the everyday essentials our country depends on,” USDA Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said in a press release.

“The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate how the Biden-Harris Administration is partnering with rural communities to champion the people living here and improve the quality of life for rural families …”

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USDA invests $2 million in rural Arizona renewable energy infrastructure