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USDA Investing in Lower Energy Costs for Rural Business Owners and Agricultural Producers

Kate Bolz
Release Date

LINCOLN, NE, July 13, 2023 – United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Nebraska State Director Kate Bolz announced today 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.

“USDA Rural Development is here to partner with Nebraska agricultural producers and small businesses to help our economy grow. The technical assistance grants will provide hands-on support to farmers, ranchers, and rural small business owners seeking federal funds for renewable energy systems, like wind and solar, and energy efficiency measures” explains Bolz.

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.

Entities interested in applying may contact Bill Sheppard at bill.sheppard@usda.gov or (402) 371-5350 extension 104. An informational webinar for applicants will be held July 25, 2023, at 3:00 pm. To RSVP, email kate.bolz@usda.gov. For additional information, see the July 13 Federal Register.

USDA 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. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ne

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