Rural small businesses and agricultural producers in South Carolina have an opportunity to apply for a total of $2,086,000 during 2015, for the grant portion of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Grants, guaranteed loans, and combination grant/loans will help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements in rural areas.
Grants are available to eligible entities to conduct and promote energy audits and provide recommendations and information on how to improve the energy efficiency system of the operations of the agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and to utilize renewable energy technologies and resources in the operation of business.
An Agricultural producer can be eligible for a REAP grant if the individual or entity is directly engaged in the production of agricultural products, including crops, livestock, forestry products, hydroponics, nursery stock, or aquaculture and must derive 50% or greater of their income from farming operations.
Rural Small businesses are eligible if the business meets the Small Business Administration (SBA) small business size standards set by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The business entity includes sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and cooperatives.
REAP grants may cover up to 25% of a project’s eligible cost with a minimum grant of $2,500.00 and a maximum grant of $500,000.00. Categories of eligible projects are: Renewable Biomass, Anaerobic Digester, Geothermal-electric generation, Geothermal-direct use, Small and Large wind, and Small and Large Solar energy projects.
If you have questions, or need additional information, please call the SC USDA Rural Development State Office at (803) 253-3150 or (803) 253-3183.