WASHINGTON, July 13, 2023 – As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Dr. Karama Neal today announced that USDA is making $21 million in technical assistance grants available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses access federal funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.
“Rural America deserves its share of the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act. That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration is making sure rural people get a fair chance at grants to make energy more affordable, create new economic opportunity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Neal said. “The technical assistance grants I am announcing today will provide hands-on support to farmers, ranchers, and rural small business owners seeking federal funds for renewable energy systems, like wind and solar, and energy efficiency measures. These investments not only help producers and small businesses lower energy costs, but also access new markets and strengthen their operations.”
Eligible recipients for these grants include state, Tribal or local governments; colleges and universities; electric cooperatives and utility companies; and for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Recipients may use the funds to:
- Help rural agricultural producers and small business owners apply for REAP funding.
- Provide information on how business owners and agricultural producers can improve the energy efficiency of their operations and use renewable energy technologies and resources.
- Conduct required energy assessments and audits.
- Help agricultural producers and small business owners plan, build, or develop renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.
This announcement is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and the Bidenomics strategy to grow the American economy from the middle out and bottom up by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, driving over $500 billion in private-sector manufacturing investments, creating good-paying jobs, and building a clean-energy economy to tackle the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient. REAP is also part of the Justice40 Initiative, which is advancing environmental justice by ensuring that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments reach disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and under investment.
USDA will give funding priority to applicants proposing to assist distressed or disadvantaged communities, applicants pursuing projects using underutilized technologies and applicants seeking grants under $20,000.
Paper applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m., Mountain Time, on August 15, 2023 at a USDA Rural Development in Montana state office.
Electronic submissions must be submitted via Grants.gov no later than 9:59 p.m., Mountain Time, on August 15, 2023.
For more information about this program contact Daniel Layton, USDA Rural Development in Montana Business Program Specialist at (406) 585-2545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, see the July 13, 2023, Federal Register.
Inflation Reduction Act: Background
The Biden-Harris Administration championed the Inflation Reduction Act to help provide new funding and unprecedented incentives to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. It is the largest single investment in rural electrification since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Montana, call (406) 585-2587 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.