Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today encouraged farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lower their energy costs.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses,” Baxley said. “USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is an important tool to help strengthen and grow the rural economy.”
USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. Potential applicants should contact their state USDA Rural Development office for additional information.
REAP funding can be used for renewable energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar. It also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. Below are some examples of USDA’s REAP investments.
“Santa Rosa Renewable Energy Day” will be held on Monday August 5, 2019 to celebrate recent REAP investments in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The four projects being honored are:
The La Quinta Inn and Suites which received a grant in the amount of $25,081 to offset the $100,325 to install two solar thermal systems to provide hot water to the hotel. The improvement is expected to save enough electricity to power 12 households.
The Phillip’s 66 gas station will receive a $59,400 grant to offset the $237,600 needed to install a solar power system at that business. By installing the system, the gas station will save $16,904 a year or 97% of its energy consumption. This is enough energy to power 11 homes.
The Super 8 Hotel received a $72,900 grant to offset the $291,600 cost to install a solar power system to operate the hotel. The renewable energy system will save $21,238 a year in the hotel’s electric bill. This is enough energy to power 15 homes.
The El Rancho Motel will receive an $18,711 grant for the installation of a solar panel system. The property will save $5,122 a year in electricity costs. The solar system will generate enough electricity each year to save the motel 98.31% of its energy usage.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.