Program 101

Program Status: Open
Federal Register Notice: PDF
Program Fact Sheet: PDF

Application Deadline: TBD

What does this program do?
Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Who may apply?

  • Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and
  • Small businesses in eligible rural areas.

NOTE:  Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment.

What is an eligible area?

  • Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.
  • Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

How may the funds be used?
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Cooling or refrigeration units
  • Doors and windows
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment

What funding is available?

  • Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs
  • Grants for up to 25% of total eligible project costs
  • Combined grant and loan guarantee funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs

What are the loan guarantee terms?

  • $5,000 minimum loan amount
  • $25 million maximum loan amount
  • Up to 85% loan guarantee
  • Rates and terms negotiated with the lender and subject to USDA approval
  • Maximum term of 30 years for real estate
  • Maximum term of 15 years for machinery and equipment
  • Maximum term of 7 years for capital loans
  • Maximum term of 30 years for combined real estate and equipment loans

What are the grant terms?
Renewable Energy System Grants:

  • $2,500 minimum
  • $500,000 maximum

Energy Efficiency Grants:

  • $1,500 minimum
  • $250,000 maximum

Are there additional requirements?

  • Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only.
  • Applicants must provide at least 25% of the project cost if applying for loan, or loan and grant combination.
  • Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report.
  • Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment.

How do we get started?

  • Applications for this program are accepted year round at your local office.

Who can answer questions?
Contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator.

What governs this program?

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled, "What governs this program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.

Forms & Resources

NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying for a loan and/or grant. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Rural Development Energy Coordinator before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in the process.

To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.

Instructions
Application Instructions (pdf)

Forms

Other Resources

Contacts

USDA RD State Office
3001 Coolidge Rd.
Suite 200
East Lansing, MI 48823
517-324-5190 | Fax 855-813-7741

Toll-Free: (800) 944-8119

James J. Turner
State Director

Assistant to the State Director
Cristina Stanley
517-324-5207

Public Information Coordinator
Alec Lloyd
517-324-5204

Community Programs Staff
517-324-5156

Single Family Housing Staff
517-324-5210

Business Programs Staff
517-324-5157

Multi-Family Housing Staff
517-324-5142

Gladstone Area Office
2003 Minneapolis Ave.
Gladstone, MI 49783
906-428-1060 Ext. 4

Sault Ste. Marie Office
2847 Ashmun
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
906-632-9611 Ext. 4

Traverse City Area Office
1501 Cass St., Suite A
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-941-0951 Ext. 4

West Branch Office
240 W. Wright St.
West Branch, MI 48661
989-345-5470 Ext. 4

Caro Area Office
1075 Cleaver Rd.
Caro, MI 48723
989-673-8173 Ext. 6

Grand Rapids Area Office
3260 Eagle Park Dr., Suite 107
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
616-942-4111 Ext. 6

Paw Paw Office
1035 East Michigan Ave., Suite A
Paw Paw, MI 49079
269-657-7055 Ext. 4

Mason Area Office
525 N. Okemos St., Suite B
Mason, MI 48854
517-676-1808 Ext. 4

Flint Office
1525 North Elms Rd.
Flint, MI 48532
810-230-8766 Ext. 4