The Agriculture Department on Thursday said it will be distributing $124 million through two programs aimed at expanding renewable energy and fertilizer production. 

The USDA is awarding $83.64 million in grants and $36.67 in loans for 541 rural energy development projects through the Rural Energy for America Program, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced while visiting the University of Nebraska Omaha. It will also award $3.96 million through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program for energy company Bluestem systems to build three facilities in Iowa and Nebraska expected to produce 11,400 tons of dry fertilizer each year.

Projects in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming are receiving REAP awards, according to a press release. 

“The investments announced today will expand access to renewable energy systems and domestic fertilizer, all while creating good-paying jobs and saving people money that they can then invest back into their businesses and communities,” Vilsack said in a press release.

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