Agribusiness  June 20, 2024

PVREA secures $9M from U.S.D.A. for energy-storage projects

FORT COLLINS — Poudre Valley REA has secured a partially forgivable $9 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The funds, announced during a Monday visit to the cooperative by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, will be used to construct two solar and battery energy-storage projects.

The $9 million investment by the USDA will result in an almost 50% cost reduction in the two projects, according to a press release.

“This investment marks a pivotal moment for the members of Poudre Valley REA,” PVREA president and CEO Jeff Wadsworth said in a prepared statement. “These projects will have a significant and positive impact on our members for years to come.”

The Powering Affordable Clean Energy, or PACE,  program will help PVREA add 3.5 megawatts of solar and battery storage, or enough to power almost 800 homes and businesses.

“We’re committed to leveraging funding opportunities like the PACE program to build a brighter future for the communities and members we serve … “ Wadsworth added.

The Two Rivers Community Solar and Boomerang Battery Energy Storage project will be PVREA’s fourth and largest community solar farm. Twenty percent of the energy produced will be reserved for low- to moderate-income households.

The Black Hollow Solar and Battery Energy Storage project will add utility-scale renewable generation into the distribution grid.

Attending the Monday announcement were Vilsack; Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo; Kate Greenberg, commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture; Bill Ritter, former governor and founder and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University; Crestina Martinez, Colorado state director of rural development; and Kent Peppler, Colorado executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency.

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