USDA giving $55.2M to Arizona clean energy projects in rural communities

Jul 1, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jul 2, 2024, 6:52 am

Three battery energy storage system projects get over $55M award...

The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded $55.2 million to Arizona to provide cleaner energy throughout the state (Pixabay photo).

(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — The federal government is spending millions of dollars to support three battery energy storage system projects in Arizona, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA’s $55.2 million reward will finance three projects led by Arizona’s Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services, according to an announcement from last week.

The company is working on three battery energy storage systems that will  provide cleaner energy to rural communities, according to the USDA.

Where are Arizona’s three new energy storage system projects?

Amee Andreason, a spokesperson with USDA Rural Development, said the three systems will have a combined 35 megawatts.

The three systems are Mesquite Energy Storage System (Mesquite ESS), Valley Electric Cooperative Sahuarita Energy Storage System (Sahuarita ESS) and Mohave Energy Storage System (Mohave ESS).

Mesquite ESS is located in Cochise County on behalf of Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Andreason said. Sahuarita ESS is in Pima County on behalf of Trico Electric Cooperative. Lastly, Mohave ESS is in Mohave County on behalf of Mohave Electric Cooperative.

Mesquite ESS and Sahuarita ESS will have a 10-megawatt capacity and a four-hour duration. However, Mohave ESS will have a 15-megawatt capacity and a four-hour duration.

Where does support for the energy projects come from?

The USDA is providing more than $375 million in funding through the Powering Affordable Clean Energy Program and the Rural Energy for America Program.

“Rural Development is empowering rural communities to take charge of their energy future and contribute to President Biden’s national goal of reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change,” Fernandez said.

Funding for the projects comes from two federal programs: the Powering Affordable Clean Energy Program and the Rural Energy for America Program. Both are part of President Joe Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which supports disadvantaged communities.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Arizona Charlene Fernandez said the administration is passionate about promoting eco-friendly practices in underserved areas.

“The Biden-Harris administration is carrying our promise to affordable clean energy in rural Arizona,” Fernandez said in a news release.

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USDA giving $55.2M to Arizona clean energy projects in rural communities