In an earlier blog, my colleague, Debra Frimerman reported about the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements and conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems.
REAP is a program under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the "2008 Farm Bill"). The 2008 Farm Bill also includes numerous other programs to help develop renewable energy in rural areas and promote the production of sustainable feedstocks for renewable energy production. Please see this recent alert for specifics.
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service is accepting applications for $18 million in Value-Added Producer Grants. Funds are available for value-added agricultural projects, including farm-based renewable energy projects, for either planning or working capital purposes. Examples of eligible projects include developing ethanol and biodiesel plants, pelletizing biomass and installing anaerobic digesters.
The maximum grant award is $100,000 for a planning grant and $300,000 for a working capital grant. Applicants must provide matching funds of at least 100% of the grant award. Eligible applicants include (1) independent agricultural producers, (2) eligible agricultural producer groups, (3) farmer-owned or rancher-owned cooperatives and (4) majority controlled producer-based businesses.
Check out our client alert on this opportunity for more information.