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USDA awards 12 renewable energy grants to Idaho businesses

Solar panels on a roof
Flickr Creative Commons

Some small-scale farmers and small business owners in Idaho are being awarded federal funds to implement energy efficiency projects.

The investments come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program. The goal is to lower energy costs and expand access to renewables in rural areas.

“These 844 projects represent a wide range of renewable energy systems," said USDA secretary Tom Vilsack on a press call earlier this month, announcing the investments in 46 states.

"The purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, and/or work that’s being done to improve the energy efficiency of agricultural production or processing.”

The 12 Idaho awards total roughly $540,000.

With the money, a potato farm in Minidoka County will purchase and install a 100-kilowatt solar array, a company with a Twin Falls car dealership will put up rooftop solar panels and a small ranching operation in Canyon County will lay down a solar radiant floor heating system in an agricultural shop.

The USDA estimates these projects will save the owners tens of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs.

The agency is also making more funding available for similar projects next year under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.

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