USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees and Grants

Erin McDuff
Release Date
Dec 17, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is seeking loan guarantee and grant applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects.

Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may apply for funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvements to cover 25 percent of the cost to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

Eligible renewable energy systems include those that produce energy from wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), ocean, geothermal, and small hydroelectric sources, as well as hydrogen derived from renewable sources.

Eligible energy efficiency improvement projects are those that reduce energy consumption and result in cost savings. Examples include, but are not limited to, installing energy-efficient lighting, adding insulation, upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment, and replacing heating and cooling systems. Applicants must provide a third party energy audit showing the energy savings that can be achieved by the upgrade. The updated items must match those that are evaluated in the audit.

The deadlines to apply for grants is March 31, 2021. Grant applications must pass a technical review.

New this year, loan guarantees may be used to purchase new energy efficiency equipment. Also beginning this year, the application process for loan guarantees has been streamlined under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. 

All applications for FY 2021 funding will be scored according to criteria listed in the November 25, 2020, Federal Register. Applicants who have already filed REAP applications may provide additional information necessary for scoring without altering their submission date of record.

To discuss a potential project or learn more about the application process, contact Jessie Huff, Energy Coordinator, (503) 414-3314.