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  • Writer's pictureTerri Pugh

May 17, 2023 - Your Scoop in CDR!

Biden to Invest Nearly $11 million into renewables in rural areas The Biden administration on Tuesday announced nearly $11 billion in grants and loans to help rural energy and utility providers bring affordable clean energy to their communities across the U.S.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during a media briefing said the funding will provide rural areas with a more affordable and dependable power grid as well as help lower future energy costs.

Rural electric cooperatives, renewable energy firms and electric utilities can apply for funding through two programs under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August. Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents nearly 900 local cooperatives, applauded the administration for the funding.

“This is an exciting and transformative opportunity for co-ops and their local communities, particularly as we look toward a future that depends on electricity to power more of the economy,” Matheson said in a statement. “USDA has smartly structured this program in a way that will help electric co-ops leverage new tools to reduce costs and keep energy affordable while meeting the future energy needs of their rural communities.”

Renewables supplied 65% of US utility generating capacity in Q1 of 2023 Electrek, May 15, 2023- Renewables provided almost two-thirds (64.64%) of new US utility-scale generating capacity added in the first quarter of 2023, according to newly released Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) data, which was reviewed by the SUN DAY Campaign.

New utility-scale solar capacity was 2,530 megawatts (MW) or 39.56% of the total – and that doesn’t include small-scale distributed photovoltaics, such as rooftop solar. New wind capacity provided 1,475 MW – or 23.06% of the total. Hydropower and biomass added 100 MW and 29 MW, respectively. New natural gas capacity totaled 2,259 MW (35.32%) and was supplemented by 2 MW of new oil. No new capacity additions were reported for coal, nuclear power, or geothermal.

Dutch shut down offshore wind to save birds during peak migration Turbines at wind farms in Borssele and Egmond aan Zee were halted for four hours at the weekend after specialist modeling predicted an influx of birds into the area.

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