Pingree Touts $20 Million from Inflation Reduction Act to Support Solar Projects in Rural Maine
Solar projects in Gorham and South Berwick awarded nearly $10 million, respectively; The funding for Maine is part of USDA’s $285 million investment to combat climate change, expand clean energy nationwide
Washington, December 15, 2022
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced $20 million for solar projects in Maine’s First Congressional District, made possible through the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The projects in Gorham and South Berwick are expected to produce more than 16,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of combined electricity in their first full year of operation, and will create good paying, green jobs for Mainers. Awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the funded Maine projects are part of a $285 million investment in critical infrastructure to combat climate change and expand access to clean energy for people across rural America.
“As someone who has pushed for climate action for decades—in my community, in our state legislature, and in Congress—I am incredibly gratified to have voted for the most aggressive climate investment in in U.S. history and to have secured new funding to support our farmers and rural small businesses battling extreme weather challenges and high energy costs in that package. These two solar projects will jumpstart clean energy in my district and lower energy costs in rural Maine,” Pingree said.
Details of the funding awarded in Maine’s first district are as follows:
REAP helps farmers, agricultural producers and entrepreneurs purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses lower energy costs.
In August, Pingree helped pass the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce energy costs for families and create thousands of good-paying jobs for people across rural America. IRA represents the largest single investment in rural electrification since the passage of the Rural Electrification Act in 1936.
Pingree sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which oversees discretionary funding for USDA programs like REAP. She is the author of the Agriculture Resilience Act, comprehensive legislation that sets a bold vision of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. agriculture by the year 2040, in part by boosting investments in on-farm and rural clean energy initiatives with programs like REAP.