3D Electric powerlines over sunrise

Maine Investment is Part of $598 Million Nationwide

March 16, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today a $598 million rural electric loan package to build or improve electric infrastructure in 11 states. In Maine, ASP2 Rural LLC will receive an Electric Loan in the amount of $7,739,000 for three solar renewable energy systems.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to bringing critical financial assistance to rural families and making significant investments in community infrastructure across rural America,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These USDA investments will bring affordable electric power to rural residents, Tribal communities, community facilities, schools and medical institutions that perform critical services each day. Now is the time for our nation to make significant investments in infrastructure — roads, bridges, broadband and energy — to improve quality of life and support good-paying jobs, transition to a clean energy economy, and keep the United States poised to lead the global economy.”

In Maine, ASP2 Rural, LLC., will use the Electric Loan in the amount of $7,739,000 to develop three solar photovoltaic facilities. The three projects are: Caribou Solar, a 964.6 kilowatt project in Caribou; Dirt Solar, a 3,937 kilowatt project in Skowhegan; and Freeport Solar, a 982.2 kilowatt project in Fairfield. In total, this project will generate enough solar renewable energy to power 1,209 homes annually.

USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins said, “This significant Rural Development investment will impact Maine communities by adding vital renewable infrastructure to the electricity grid. This funding supports the use of reliable clean solar electricity in Maine, and contributes to a brighter and more sustainable future for our state,” said USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins.

In total, USDA is investing in 11 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit a total of 460,000 rural residents and businesses in Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Several of the loans will help expand smart grid technologies, which can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services in unserved and underserved rural areas.

USDA’s Electric Loan Program helps finance wind, solar and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce clean energy from coal-fired plants. Local utilities also use the loans to invest in infrastructure to deliver affordable power to millions of residential, commercial and agricultural consumers.

To learn more about electric infrastructure and other investment resources for rural areas, contact the USDA Rural Development state office. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/me.

Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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