Nebraska Goes Green: New Solar Projects Funded by $62 Million Grant

A government initiative has granted a Nebraska non-profit $62 million to boost the solar power industry in the state.

Solar Power Grant

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The clean energy industry in Nebraska looks to be on the brink of a new era thanks to a $62 million federal grant given to a nonprofit group based in the state. 

Center for Rural Affairs Rewarded

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On Tuesday Nebraska’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that the Center for Rural Affairs (CRA) had received $62.4 million in funding via the Solar for All competition.

$5.5 Billion Competition

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It is one of 49 awards issued by the EPA, from a pool of $5.5 billion in federal funding. The competition was part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a $27 billion investment that is part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Biden’s Push Against Climate Change

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The nationwide act was issued by the Biden administration to address the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution across the US. Promoting and funding clean energy initiatives is an important part of the act.

Pollution-Free Power by 2035?

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Using the $62 million worth of funding, the CRA will work toward the administration’s goal of achieving a pollution-free power sector by 2035, by providing solar energy to underserved communities in Nebraska.

A Non-Profit Group

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The CRA is a non-profit group that operates outside of Lyons, Nebraska and has been in operation for almost five decades.

Focus On Underserved Communities

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Their organization is US Treasury-certified, and its official website describes it as a “mission-driven lender focusing on underserved communities, primarily to rural, Latino, Native, and other communities that mainstream finance doesn’t traditionally reach.”

Helping Low-Income Households

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Executive Director Brian Depew spoke out about the funding and their intention to use it to help low-income households save on energy costs.

Saving Money “On Day One”

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“Yeah, that’s one of the exciting things about this project is helping people who haven’t been able to participate in solar energy be able to participate, and to save them money on day one, and also lock in the cost of their power for the next 20 or 30 years,” he said.

Helping to Combat Energy Prices

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 “We believe that solar for all will be able to save people money today and probably even more money as energy prices rise in the future,” he added.

60% Increase in Solar Energy Use

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Depew also believes that the $62 million grant will increase the amount of solar energy used in Nebraska by 60% over the five-year period that the grant is issued.

More Jobs, More Momentum

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The fund is expected to create more jobs in the sector and build more momentum for clean energy projects in Nebraska, which has been slower to adopt solar power and other more sustainable energy practices than other states.

“At the Vanguard of Solar”

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“It’s exciting,” Depew told state news outlet Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN. “We are just at the vanguard of solar in Nebraska.

Building the Solar Industry

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“This can be part of building our solar industry in a way that goes beyond the folks we’ll be able to serve through this project,” he concluded. 

9000 Households Targeted

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In the coming years, the CRA will work to provide solar energy to rural areas throughout the state. It expects to reach more than 9000 Nebraska households.

A More Viable Market

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By bolstering the solar power sector in Nebraska they will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and over time make the residential solar market more far-reaching and viable across the state.

More than 900,000 US Households

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The EPA estimates that the results of the Solar for All competition, including the grant given to the CRA, will provide solar energy for more than 900,000 low-income households across the US.

$350 Million Saved

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It also predicts over $350 million worth of savings on electricity bills for low-income and underserved households.

EPA Expectations

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“The program will serve the entire state, resulting in immediate greenhouse gas reductions, immediate savings for low-income households, opportunities for ownership and will lead to long-term market transformation of residential serving solar,” the EPA announced. 

Starting in September

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The contract will be delivered by September 2024, and the CRA is preparing for the project by hiring a 10-member team as well as additional workers to help with solar installation and management.

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The post Nebraska Goes Green: New Solar Projects Funded by $62 Million Grant first appeared on EcoHugo.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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