CARSON CITY, Nev., Jan. 18, 2023 – USDA Rural Development Nevada State Director Lucas Ingvoldstad announced that the Department is making $300 million available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to expand renewable energy and support energy-efficiency projects for people living in rural America. This funding includes $250 million provided by the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
“The Inflation Reduction Act is a monumental opportunity for making energy investments in rural Nevada,” Ingvoldstad said. “Climate-smart investments are priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration and USDA Rural Development. We are ready to bring this historic funding to the Silver State to further build this growing industry and to create jobs.”
USDA is seeking applications for Fiscal Year 2023 funding under the Rural Energy for America Program. Two significant changes to this additional funding include an increase in the maximum Federal grant share from 25% to 40% of total project cost and an increase of maximum grant amounts from $250,000 to $500,000 for energy efficiency projects and an increase from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for renewable energy systems. Projects in underserved areas are prioritized for funding under this notice.
Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible applicants for loan guarantees and grants to develop renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements. State and local governments, federally-recognized Tribes, land-grant colleges or universities or other institutions of higher education, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, and Resource Conservation & Development Councils (as defined in 16 USC §3451) are eligible applicants for grants to conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.
Applicants in Nevada have successfully used REAP funds to reduce operating costs with energy generation and efficiency projects. For example, Mark Dunn of Railroad Valley Farms in Nye County installed two solar systems to power irrigation for his alfalfa fields. The systems save not only dollars otherwise spent on fuel, but thousands of gallons of diesel fuel itself per year. In Douglas County, Chemeon Surface Technology, a surface finishing business, made energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and replaced a heater with efficient models to save an estimated $5,000 per year in utility costs.
Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Nevada State Energy Coordinator, Laura Chavez, well in advance of the March 31, 2023 application deadline to discuss their project and ask any questions about the REAP program or the application process. Laura Chavez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 443-4764.
Additional information on the required materials and how to apply for the REAP program are available on page 77059 of the Dec. 16, 2022, Federal Register.