Oklahoma farms to receive USDA funding for renewable energy projects


Four Oklahoma farms are among an estimated 400 across the nation set to receive part of the USDA’s $144 million Rural Energy for America Program.

The program was announced Monday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who said the project, with the cooperative of the Energy Department, will help small and medium-sized farms save money and potentially boost incomes in rural communications.

The effort funded through the Inflation Reduction Act would expand the Rural Energy for America Program, which combines grants and loan guarantees to promote alternative energy in rural areas. The Inflation Reduction Act specifically set aside $144 million for “underutilized technologies,” which includes wind and other sources.

An investment of $24,043 will go to Gracie Clarkson to instal a 14.445 kilowatt solar system at a small business in Chandler. The USDA said it is expected to save the business $3,051 a year and generate 17,950 kilowatt hours.

Justin James Weichel, a farmer in Cordell will receive $37,643 to install a 15 kilowatt wind turbine. The project, according to the USDA announcement, will save the business $7,126 a year and also generate 50,188 kilowatt hours.

A grant of $24,492 to A to Z Land LLC in Hobart will pay for installation of a 15 kilowatt wind turbine. It is estimated the turbine will save the farm business $7,229 a year and generate 57,376 kilowatt hours, enough electricity to power five homes.

The fourth recipient is Kibtec Oil & Gas, a rural small business in Cashion. It will receive $39,800 for a 15 kilowatt wind turbine and the savings are estimated at $5,319 a year. It will generate 39,315 kilowatt hours annually.

“Today’s announcement furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to rebuild our nation’s economy from the middle out and bottom up by increasing income and opportunities for the small and mid-sized farmers that keep rural main streets vibrant,” said Secretary Vilsack.