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USDA seeks grant applicants to offset high energy costs in rural area

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The US Department of Agriculture announced it is seeking applications for grants to offset high energy costs in rural areas, a benefit that has never been requested in Puerto Rico.

The USDA is making the grants available under the Rural Energy Cost Grant program.

This program helps state and local government and nonprofit agencies acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities. Grants may also be used to install on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements.

Luis R. García, acting state director said eligible projects must be in communities where the average residential home expenditure is at least 275% of the national average. the UDSA expects to award up to $10 million for Fiscal 2021, he said.

Paper applications must be postmarked by no later than July 6, 2021. Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by midnight on July 6, 2021.

Central and municipal government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations could apply for funding, which could be ideal to serve isolated communities as well as Vieques and Culebra, an agency official said.

“USDA officials are eager to be able to work this program in Puerto Rico,” the official said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.
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