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Rep. Caraveo, USDA Sec. Vilsack Unveil $9.1 Million Clean Energy Investment in Northern Colorado

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Today, Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, MD (CO-08) hosted United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to announce a multi-million federal investment that will lower energy costs and improve access to clean, reliable energy for rural homes and businesses in Northern Colorado. The federal funding will benefit the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA), which services more than 55,000 homes and businesses across Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties.

Congresswoman Caraveo helped secure the funding for Northern Colorado from the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program, which is part of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. The PACE program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and represents the largest investment in rural electrification since 1936. The $9.12 million investment will help PVREA provide 80% clean energy by 2030 without raising rates.

“It was great to welcome Secretary Vilsack to Northern Colorado today to highlight the $9.12 million PACE investment that USDA is bringing to the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association,” said Congresswoman Caraveo. “Like all communities, rural Coloradans want affordable electricity that they can rely on, and PVREA has an excellent track record of doing that.”

“For too long, rural America has missed out on the cutting edge,” added Congresswoman Caraveo. “This funding from the PACE program helps end the innovation imbalance by bringing clean, reliable energy to Northern Colorado that will make daily life more affordable for working Coloradans and small businesses.”

“Rural communities are the backbone of America, and the Biden-Harris Administration is proud to partner with them to create a more affordable and sustainable future that will benefit rural families, businesses and the health of our planet for generations to come,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The projects we’re announcing today will create good-paying jobs in the Centennial State, lower energy costs for Colorado families, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the resiliency of our nation’s electric grid.”

Caraveo and Vilsack were joined by Colorado’s energy and agriculture leaders: Jeff Wadsworth, President and CEO of the Poudre Valley REA; Kate Greenberg, Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture; Crestina Martinez, Colorado State Development of Rural Development; and Kent Peppler, Colorado Executive Director of the Farm Service Director.

Caraveo is the Ranking Member on the Commodity Markets, Digital Assets, and Rural Development Subcommittee of the powerful House Agriculture Committee, and she has used her leadership role to protect IRA rural energy programs during the Farm Bill process. Caraveo led a letter on behalf of all Democrats on the Agriculture Committee that emphasized the importance of protecting these programs, and she spoke on behalf of rural electric funding during the Farm Bill mark-up and a hearing with Secretary Vilsack.

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