U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that USDA will accept applications starting on Oct. 1 for grants to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. USDA has made available $1 billion in grants under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), with funding from President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act, which has made historic levels of investment available to Oklahoma and is recognized as the best way to grow the economy from the middle out and bottom up.
“More than 40 small business owners and agriculture producers in Oklahoma have utilized this grant investments so far this year, which has already injected millions of dollars into our Oklahoma economy by spurring growth in jobs and reducing energy costs,” Corn said. “This capitalization of funds is part of President Biden’s commitment to no longer leave rural Oklahomans behind. As a direct result of the President’s commitment to rural America, we are seeing business owners and producers take advantage of this historic opportunity to reinvest in their business and help them secure a better tomorrow by reducing their carbon footprint and lowering their costs from energy consumption.”
Recipients may use REAP funds to install renewable energy systems or to make energy-efficiency improvements. Eligible applicants include rural small businesses and agricultural producers. USDA will hold competitions quarterly through Dec. 31, 2023.
The maximum federal share which may be requested is up to 50 percent of the total project cost for all energy-efficiency projects and zero-emissions renewable energy systems. An award of up to 50 percent of the total project cost is also available for any project in a designated energy community and/or submitted by an eligible tribal entity. All other projects are eligible to apply for grants of up to 25 percent of the total project cost. The maximum grant is $1 million for renewable energy systems and $500,000 for energy-efficiency projects.
“Clean energy has proven to be a transformative investment that not only helps protects the future for the generation of Oklahomans, but it also has shown to be an immediate positive for our state by spurring job growth and allowing our businesses and agriculture producers to grow their operations as well,” Corn said. “Thanks to President Biden’s vision for a better rural America, we can all get to share in the benefits of these positive investments in rural America.”
Examples of past projects accepted for a REAP grant include:
- LED lighting utilized in improvement projects
- Energy-efficient fans
- Improved refrigeration
- Solar Power
- Projects that improve energy efficiency
For more information on how to apply email: OKenergy@usda.gov or call 405-742-1063. Additionally, applicants who have submissions currently being considered for approval and have questions on the grant award process are encouraged to contact the State Office at 405-742-1063.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.