U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that USDA will accept applications starting on April 1 for $1 billion in grants to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. USDA is making the $1 billion in grants available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), with funding from President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act, the nation’s largest-ever investment in combating the climate crisis.
“Oklahoma has the opportunity to be a rural leader in agriculture energy efficiencies thanks to this commonsense approach by President Biden to invest in our rural and tribal communities and lower our overall energy costs,” Corn said. “Clean energy can be a game changer for my fellow Oklahoma neighbors, as not only does this lower costs for Oklahoma consumers it helps combat the ongoing climate crisis that threatens the very livelihood of agriculture producers across our state.”
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 Sept. 30, 2024. The funding will also include the creation of the first underutilized technology fund in the REAP program, with $144.5 million available in dedicated funding.
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.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for businesses and producers to be a part of this historic reinvestment of American entrepreneurial spirit and rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out,” Corn said. “The time is now for Oklahoma to be a part of this transformation of our industrial strength, improve our supply chains and grow the productive capacity of our economy by contacting our State Office today to find out how they can participate in this historic program.”
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.