BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — The U.S Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program will be investing over $500,000 in programs and critical infrastructure to help protect North Dakota from the effects of climate change and save electricity.

These new investments are stated to reflect the goals of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses immediate economic needs and includes the largest federal investment in history relating to clean energy.

In total, the Inflation Reduction Act includes $14 billion in funding for USDA programs that support both the expansion of biofuels and helping rural businesses transition to renewable and zero-energy emission systems.

Nationally, $121 million in funding is being distributed to 289 projects across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. In North Dakota, a total of $578,000 will be distributed to the following organizations and individuals:

  • The Ellendale Fire Protection District will receive a $316,500 grant to purchase a new fire pumper truck with updated technology and safety features. The current pumper truck is over 25 years old. This will serve to benefit the 2,154 residents of Ellendale and the surrounding areas.
  • 1137 Mall, a locally owned strip mall in Dickinson, will receive a $125,000 grant to install more energy-efficient LED lighting and HVAC systems. The project will not only save the business $25,966 every year, and replace 402,373 kilowatt hours per year — enough electricity to power 37 full homes.
  • James Ackerman, owner of a small grain farm near Devil’s Lake, will receive a $101,326 grant to install a more efficient grain-drying system. The new system will save the farm $24,646 per year, and replace 443,580 kilowatt hours per year — enough electricity to power 41 homes.
  • North Central Builders Inc., a locally-owned contracting business near Rugby, will receive a $13,849 grant to install a 24.6 kilowatt solar array system. This new array will save the business $1,693 per year, and replace 31,207 kilowatt hours per year — enough electricity to power three homes.
  • Joseph Mauch, owner of a small grain family farm near Mooreton, will receive a $13,654 grant to install a geothermal heating and cooling system. This project will save the business $2,966 per year, and replace 49,438 kilowatt hours per year — enough electricity to power five homes.
  • Benjamin James, owner of a family farm near Kenmare, will receive an $8,148 grant to install a 13.13-kilowatt solar array system. This new array will save the business $798 per year, and replace 12,270 kilowatt hours per year — enough electricity to power a home.

“USDA Rural Development’s programs help hard-working families, small business owners, and individuals on fixed incomes save money by becoming more energy efficient,” said North Dakota’s USDA RD State Director Erin Oban in a press release. “It’s a win-win when we’re able to help people keep money in their pockets at the same time as reducing our collective impacts on the environment.”