The Inflation Reduction Act provides a roadmap to a clean energy transition. We just need to follow it.
Beyond the New ERA program, there are a number of other IRA-related programs that can benefit Tri-State and its member co-ops. And they can be stacked one on top of another.
Provisions in the IRA, for example, now allow rural electric co-ops to receive Direct Pay Tax Credits for clean energy projects. As nonprofit enterprises, co-ops were not eligible for tax credits, but through direct pay, the playing field has been leveled, giving co-ops the ability to receive money from the IRS that is proportional to the tax credits that were previously only available to investor-owned utilities. This funding can make clean energy investments for both local co-ops and Tri-State even more affordable.
Another $27 billion is available through the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grants, which are designed to support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a significant portion allocated to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities.
And through the U.S. Dept. of Energy, there are Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) Loans that are backed by more than $100 billion in federal loan support. These loans are specifically aimed at retooling, repowering, repurposing, or replacing energy infrastructure.
Tapping into these federal resources is a no-brainer. Rural communities were shaped generations ago by decisions that brought power and resilience to underserved parts of America. We are now at another historic moment where we have the ability to apply deep resources for the benefit of rural communities.
Tri-State and its members should take full advantage of every facet of what the IRA offers – so that rural Colorado won’t have to wait another lifetime for something similar to come along.