DoE and USDA sign MoU on technology innovation and adoption


The US Departments of Energy and Agriculture have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the development of deployment of innovative energy technologies in rural areas.

The MoU was signed by US Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes and Deputy Under Secretary Donald LaVoy with the aim to support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing.

The MoU is a mandate of section 6501 of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The deal will enable the two departments to:

  • Facilitate energy-related investments in rural communities
  • Streamline, leverage and optimise programme resources
  • Encourage innovation of energy technologies
  • Offer technical assistance to rural communities
  • Strengthen energy-related infrastructure
  • Ensure affordable and reliable power
  • Help rural businesses export energy products and manufactured goods around the world.
  • Encourage, support and invest in cybersecurity initiatives and grid improvement.

Mark W. Menezes, said: “This MOU will do an immeasurable amount of good for our rural communities. Rural America deserves the investments in energy infrastructure, technology, and businesses that will be produced by this MOU.

“By working together, DOE and USDA will follow through on President Trump’s promise to emphasize and focus on the needs of these hardworking communities across America in an unprecedented way.”

Deputy Under Secretary LaVoy adds: “Energy creates jobs, supports local infrastructure expansion and provides new opportunities to increase economic development in rural communities.

“The bright and innovative minds in rural communities working to develop and utilize new energy technology should know that the Trump Administration supports its mission and efforts to increase prosperity in Rural America. I’m grateful that USDA is partnering with DOE to help farmers, ranchers, foresters and businesses in rural communities thrive.”  

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.