Wed. Jul 24th, 2024


The USDA announced $144 million in grants to help farmers install underutilized renewable energy technology like small-scale windmills, with a goal of helping 400 farmers deploy smaller wind projects. The Energy Department also announced $4 million in related funding for testing, certification, and commercialization of distributed wind technologies. Distributed wind can range from a single turbine to meet a farm’s electric needs to several turbines generating electricity for the local grid.

In a recent announcement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack shared that the USDA will be offering $144 million in grants to support farmers in installing underutilized renewable energy technology. The initiative, known as RAISE (Rural and Agricultural Income and Save from Renewable Energy), aims to help farmers reduce costs and increase income by deploying clean energy equipment such as small-scale windmills. This funding is expected to have lasting economic benefits for families, businesses, and communities. The USDA’s initial goal is to assist 400 farmers in implementing smaller-scale wind projects, alongside supporting other clean energy applications like small-scale hydropower, geothermal, and biomass-based solutions.

Additionally, the Energy Department announced $4 million in funding to further support the deployment of distributed wind technologies. This funding will be allocated towards testing, certification, and commercialization of these technologies, as well as for outreach and business model development. Distributed wind technologies, which can range from single turbines meeting on-farm electricity needs to multiple turbines generating surplus electricity for sale to the local grid, offer promising opportunities for renewable energy production in agricultural settings.

The collaboration between the USDA and the Energy Department underscores the government’s commitment to advancing clean energy solutions in rural America. Through these investments and initiatives, farmers and rural communities are poised to benefit from the long-term economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy technology.