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USDA investing $19 million to combat climate change in rural NC, including Columbus County

(Photo: USDA / MGN)

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Two locations in the Cape Fear are benefiting from a recent $19 million investment in critical infrastructure to combat climate change across rural North Carolina.

In Columbus County, Arthur 2 Solar LLC will use a $6 million Rural Energy for America Program Loan for the purchase and installation of a 6.50 megawatt solar system. The system is estimated to produce 12,000.000 kWh in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 1,115 homes.

Additionally, Beckwith Solar LLC in Columbus County will use a $6,000,000 Rural Energy for America Program Loan for the purchase and installation of a 6.56 megawatt solar system. The system is estimated to produce 12,096,000 kWh in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 1,102 homes.

“Rural Development is in unique position to make climate smart investments here in North Carolina,” Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight said. “We are devoting resources to create thriving livable communities here at home with the creation of solutions for climate change and renewable energy.”

The investments will help state and local government entities, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Tribes construct, renovate or purchase and install equipment for essential community facilities for public use in rural areas.

They also will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems as well as make energy efficiency improvements, according to a press release.

Nationwide the funding will help people in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.