USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is available to agricultural producers and rural small for-profit businesses to complete energy efficiency improvements or install a renewable energy system to their current farm or business operations.
Grants and guaranteed loans may be used for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency equipment and renewable energy systems, such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, lighting, windows, pivots or sub-surface drip tape systems as well as, irrigation engines or motors, variable frequency drives, grain dryers, geothermal systems, solar panels, wind turbines, and aneorobic digesters.
Grants are for 25% of the total eligible project costs, and guaranteed loans are for up to 75% of the total eligible project costs. Rural is defined as cities with a population of less than 50,000. Applications are to be submitted to your local Rural Development office no later than close of business, 4:30 p.m., April 30, 2015 and June 30, 2015. All applications submitted are selected based on a competitive scoring process, which is outlined within the application packet.
Last year Wagner’s Supermarket in Arapahoe received a REAP grant to replace existing freezers and coolers in their grocery store. A 30% annual energy savings has been realized in the past year as a result of the project.
REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2014, (Farm Bill) is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s critical energy needs. USDA is accepting the following applications:
- Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants (for State, Tribal, or Local Government, and Councils to conduct energy audits to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses) until February 12, 2015;
- Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Energy Systems GRANT applications, combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30,2015 and June 30, 2015;
- Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Energy Systems guaranteed loan only applications will be accepted continuously and compete monthly.
For more information regarding the REAP program, visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_Reap.html
To discuss a proposed project, ask questions, or to obtain an application template, please contact one of the following Business Programs Specialists near you:
- Bill Sheppard, firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 371-5350 ext. 1004 – northeast and southeast counties
- Kelley Messenger, email@example.com or (308) 237-3118 ext. 1120 – north and south central counties
- Marla Marx, firstname.lastname@example.org or (308) 632-2195 ext. 1132 – panhandle including northwest and southwest counties
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2013. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.