The USDA announced today that it is accepting applications under 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 funds are available in the following amounts:
- Grants for energy efficiency projects are available for up to the lesser of $250,000 or 25% of the project costs.
- Grants for renewable energy systems are available for up to the lesser of $500,000 or 25% of the project costs.
- Grants for feasibility studies for renewable energy systems are available for up to the lesser of $50,000 or 50% of the costs of the study.
- Loan guarantees are available for up to the lesser of $25 million or 75% of the project costs.
Applicants must be agricultural producers or rural small businesses. Agricultural producers are farmers or ranchers that obtain more than half of their gross income from agricultural operations. Small rural businesses are small businesses, as determined in accordance with the Small Business Administration’s small business size standards, located in rural areas. Applications are due July 31, 2009.