DES MOINES, Iowa, July 13, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director in Iowa Theresa Greenfield 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. The USDA Rural Development state office in Iowa will be allocated between $400,000 and $500,000 to award in a competitive process to providers of REAP technical assistance.
“This technical assistance grant opportunity will provide hands-on support to farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners seeking federal funds for renewable energy systems,” said Director Greenfield. “The Biden-Harris Administration is helping ag producers and rural small businesses lower energy costs by championing climate-smart technologies, including wind, anaerobic digesters, geothermal, and biomass systems in Iowa.”
The application window for the technical assistance grants opens July 15, 2023, and closes on August 15, 2023.
Eligible recipients for these grants include state, Tribal or local governments; colleges and universities; electric cooperatives and utility companies; and for-profit and nonprofit 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 underinvestment.
USDA will give funding priority to applicants proposing to assist disadvantaged communities, applicants pursuing projects using underutilized technologies and applicants seeking grants under $20,000.
The Rural Development state office in Iowa will hold a brief webinar regarding this announcement on July 13, 2023, at 3 p.m. Central Time. Click on this hyperlink to participate virtually: https://usdard.zoomgov.com/j/1600323028?pwd=UVo2TEcrVGZidWpyV0s1dTQybjkwdz09
For additional information, see the July 13 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.
Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Administration is delivering on its promise to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across America. The Inflation Reduction Act provides funding to USDA Rural Development to help eligible organizations invest in renewable energy infrastructure and zero-emission systems and make energy efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Contact USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.3 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.