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Biden-Harris Administration Partners with Electric Cooperatives to Bring Affordable Clean Energy to Rural Coloradans as Part of Investing in America Agenda

Funding Will Help Reduce Electricity Costs and Spur Growth for Rural Communities Through the USDA Powering Affordable Clean Energy Program

FORT COLLINS, Colo., June 17, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is making new clean energy investments in Colorado through the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. The selected applications total more than $81 million in partially forgivable loans from the Inflation Reduction Act—the largest investment in climate and rural clean energy in history— to partner with rural communities to deliver clean, affordable energy to rural Coloradans.

“Rural communities are the backbone of America, and the Biden-Harris Administration is proud to partner with them to create a more affordable and sustainable future that will benefit rural families, businesses and the health of our planet for generations to come,” Secretary Vilsack said. “The projects we’re announcing today will create good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for consumers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the resiliency of our nation’s electric grid.”

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement in Fort Collins, where Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association has been selected to receive a $9 million partially forgivable loan to build two community solar and battery energy storage projects that will benefit the people of Weld County.

In western Colorado, Delta Montrose Electric Association has been selected to receive a $72 million partially forgivable loan to finance a grid-connected solar photovoltaic system. This project will provide rural communities in western Colorado with affordable and reliable clean power.

The PACE program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of federal climate, clean energy and other investments to communities that have been marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

By using renewable energy from natural sources such as the sun and wind, the projects will make it more affordable for people to heat their homes, run their businesses and power cars, schools, hospitals and more.

In May 2023, USDA made $1 billion available through PACE to fund new clean energy projects and energy storage in rural America. The program provides low interest loans with up to 60% loan forgiveness to renewable energy developers, rural electric cooperatives and other rural energy providers for renewable energy storage and projects that use wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biomass. Prior to today’s announcement, Secretary Vilsack announced five PACE applications totaling $139 million moving forward at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s PowerXchange annual meeting in San Antonio, TX in March 2024.

USDA expects to continue making PACE awards in the coming months. Through this program, USDA Rural Development provides partially forgivable loans to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

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