USDA accepting applications for REAP funding
The USDA is seeking applications for the Rural Energy for America Program. Up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees is expected to be made available for the fiscal year 2014 awards. Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications are due July 7. Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications will be accepted through July 31.
The REAP program provides assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of projects. Loan guarantees and grants are used to support the installation of renewable energy systems, such as anaerobic digesters or a wide variety of other renewable energy sources, or to make energy efficiency improvements.
Requests for grants cannot exceed 25 percent of a project’s cost, either for stand-alone grant requests or grants combined with loan guarantees.
"Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This funding will help farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations, create jobs and help America become more energy independent. When small rural businesses and farmers cut their energy costs with cleaner and more efficient energy, we are both helping their bottom lines and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that affects our climate."
Since the start of the Obama Administration, REAP has supported more than 8,200 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. During this period, USDA has provide more than $264 million in grants and $212 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners.
Additional information on the REAP program and application details can be found on the Federal Register website here.