Biden admin launches $11B program to electrify rural America

Read the full story at E&E News.

The Agriculture Department is kicking off the awards process for nearly $11 billion in funding to electrify and decarbonize rural parts of the United States.

Drawing from two pots of money enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, the funding is available for a sweeping set of potential projects, from new or retrofitted transmission lines to hydrogen projects to carbon capture. It is the largest single investment in rural electrification since the New Deal, according to the Biden administration.

“This is about renewable energy systems. It’s about zero-emissions systems. It’s about carbon capture systems,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters on a call Monday.

The funding is part of the administration’s strategy to use hundreds of billions of dollars in the IRA and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure package to achieve its energy and climate objectives. More than $435 billion in private-sector investments has been announced following passage of those laws and the CHIPS and Science Act, the White House says.

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