Great River Energy, a not-for-profit wholesale electric cooperative, along with a majority of its member-owners are pleased to announce they have filed a Letter of Interest with the United States Department of Agriculture to participate in the department’s Empowering Rural America (New ERA) program to become eligible for nearly $1 billion in federal funds to advance the work of Minnesota’s electric cooperatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to continue modernizing the region’s power grid.
“The New Era program is a historic, once in a generation investment into the country’s generation and transmission infrastructure,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Corporate and Member Services Officer Lisa Orpen. “The consortium made up of our member-owners allowed us to collaborate and identify worthy projects that accelerate greenhouse gas emission reductions, while keeping electricity reliable and affordable.”
The $9.7 billion New ERA program was created as part of the Inflation Reduction Act with the goal of helping rural America transition to cleaner, reliable and more affordable electricity. Great River Energy and its 27 member-owners serves roughly 70 percent of Minnesota, much of which is in rural areas. New ERA funding will allow Great River Energy’s member-owners to invest in renewable energy and new smart grid technologies.
“This was a collaborative effort involving our membership. The result is a portfolio of innovative projects that will help us achieve important goals for affordability and environmental progress.” said Great River Energy Director of Member Services, Distributed Energy Resources and End Use Strategy Jeff Haase.
Following today’s announcement, the USDA will review applications and determine what proposals will move forward in the process.