Pingree Welcomes $10.5 Million USDA Clean Energy Investment to Support On-Farm Solar Projects in Maine’s 1st District
The federal funding, awarded through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, will fund solar projects in Windsor and Washington, Maine
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced a $10.5 million investment in clean energy infrastructure for Maine’s First Congressional District to help agricultural producers, rural small business owners and residents lower energy costs and make energy-efficiency improvements. The federal funding, awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), will be used to help develop solar projects for communities in Washington and Windsor, Maine. The projects are expected to produce more than 7,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of combined electricity in their first full year of operation, and will create good paying, green jobs for Mainers.
“President Biden’s infrastructure law is making historic investments to fight climate change across the country. These investments are especially crucial for our rural communities. On Earth Day, I’m thrilled to be able to celebrate this major investment in clean energy from the USDA, which would not have been possible without the infrastructure law. This funding will give small businesses and food producers in my district a huge opportunity to fight climate change at the local level and reduce their operating costs at the same time,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “As a member of both the House Agriculture and House Appropriations Committees and as a farmer who has been fighting climate change for decades, I have long pushed for federal investments in renewable energy. With a partner in the Biden administration and coupled with the farmer-friendly solutions in my Agriculture Resilience Act, we can reach net-zero emissions in this sector by 2040.”
Details of the funding awarded in Maine’s first district are as follows:
This funding is part of a $787 million investment announced today by USDA to fund renewable energy projects in 36 states. Additionally, the USDA today announced $12 million to help rural communities in 17 states, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico that have been affected by severe weather. These investments will strengthen the health and livelihoods of people across rural America. They include funding for 165 projects to expand access to safe water and/or clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities.