The Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program is part of the Inflation Reduction Act. With $1 billion in funding, PACE helps make clean, affordable, and reliable energy accessible to the people of rural America. Under PACE, USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will forgive up to 60 percent of loans for renewable energy projects that use wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, or biomass, as well as for renewable energy storage projects. Congress has authorized $1 billion in PACE program funding. The maximum available loan is $100 million including the forgivable portion. The minimum loan is $1 million.
To be considered for funding, you must first submit a letter of interest (LOI). The application window is open June 30 – September 29, 2023, with applications processed on a rolling basis. Your LOI must arrive before September 29, 2023. Application Portal Opens on July 10, 2023
Who is eligible for this program?
The PACE program is available to eligible applicants that generate electricity for resale to residents in both rural and nonrural areas. However, at least 50 percent of the population served by your proposed renewable energy project must live in communities with populations of 20,000 or fewer.
Eligible entities include:
- Corporations, states, and territories, along with their subdivisions and agencies
- Utility districts
- Indian Tribes
- Alaska Native, regional, or village corporations
- Limited Liability Companies or other for-profit entities organized under the laws of any U.S. state or territory
Only one application accepted from each eligible entity. However, eligible groups can collaborate to package their proposed projects into one joint letter of interest.
Additional information about PACE is available in the NOFO published in the Federal Register, and on the USDA Rural Development Inflation Reduction Act. Click the plus sign to the right of “Funding Opportunities,” and see the first bullet point: “Section 22001.”
Who can answer questions?
- A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found on the PACE website.
- You can email PACE program questions to [email protected].