Watts & Learn: Solar for Rural Communities: USDA Grants, GET Solar Communities, & the IRA

Friday, February 17, 2023

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

(elected and government officials and staff – free of charge)

Register here!

In 2023, agricultural businesses and small businesses located in rural communities can access up to twice as much grant funding than normal through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) widely coveted Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Overall funding has nearly doubled from $300 million to $550 million, maximum grant amounts for solar projects have increased from $500,000 to $1 million, and the maximum federal grant share is increasing from 25 percent to 40 percent of total project costs.

For community-based nonprofits in rural communities, the USDA Community Facilities grant and loan program combined with the tax benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), such as the Energy Communities and Low-Income bonus tax credits, puts rural communities in a strong position to benefit from substantial and immediate energy cost savings for almost all applicants as soon as the solar is turned on.

The infusion of essentially free money might be the impetus for many rural businesses and organizations to flip the switch to solar, and the Pennsylvania Solar Center is here to help. Join us to learn more about the USDA and IRA resources offered to Pennsylvania’s rural communities, as well as our G.E.T. Solar and G.E.T. Solar Communities programs that offers businesses and tax-entities technical assistance to go solar.

We look forward to helping you learn more about how we can increase the benefits of solar energy and save businesses and organizations money on their electricity bills.


  • Rana Pfeil, Business Programs Specialist, United Stated Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Program
  • Joseph Kaczmarczyk, Community Facilities Specialist, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Leo Kowalski, Director of Programming, Pennsylvania Solar Center
  • Matt Mahoney, Director of Government Affairs, Pennsylvania Solar Center

Who should attend?

• elected officials and staff

• renewable energy owners, operators and/or investors

• solar developers

• general public and anyone interested in learning more!


General Registration is $15 for this webinar; $100 for the 10-webinar series (and all recordings). Free for elected officials and legislative staff.

Special arrangements for complimentary registration can be made for those who request it by contacting us at info@pasolarcenter.org. Please don’t let financial worries prevent you from attending! We want you there!!

Get access to the whole series of 10 webinars in the next 10 months for $100 (as well as recordings from past webinars). Your ticket supports the activities of the PA Solar Center and is 100% tax deductible as we are a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Register here!

Upcoming Series (Dates and speakers being confirmed):

• PV Reuse and Recycling

• PA Solar Supply Chain Manufacturing Opportunities

• Floating Solar

• Community Choice Aggregation

• Solar Policy Updates

• Energy Storage, Microgrids and Solar …..and more.