New Federal Rural Energy Grants and Loans Announced by USDA

Share this

USDA logo courtesy of USDAOn December 29, 2014, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) final rule and Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) was published in the Federal Register. REAP is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s critical energy needs. REAP has two types of funding assistance: Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance are one type and Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants are the other.

The Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Energy Efficiency Improvement (EEI) Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from: Wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources.

The Energy Audit (EA) and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (REDA) Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, (grantee), will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporated renewable energy technologies into their operations.

The application type, application window, and application deadline are detailed in the NOSA. In short, applications for RES and EEI grants and grant/loan combinations are being accepted now. There is an April 30, 2015 and a June 30, 2015 application closing date for these funds. RES and EEI guaranteed loans are being accepted now with monthly competitions.

The EA and REDA application period opened on December 29, 2014, with a closing date of February 12, 2015. Refer to the NOSA for additional information.

The final REAP rule, which is effective 2/12/15, has a few changes in required content and scoring. The REAP Final Rule document is here.

The Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2015 is here.

Completed applications for RES and EEI projects should be sent to:

Cheryl D. Pelletier, Business Programs Specialist
Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
735 Main Street - Suite 1
Presque Isle, ME 04769
Phone: 207-764-4157 ext. 135

Completed applications for EA and REDA grants should be sent to:

Brian Wilson, P.E., Business and Cooperative Programs Specialist
Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
967 Illinois Avenue | Suite 4 | Bangor, ME 04401-2767
Phone: 207.990.9168

Maine's USDA staff can work with you to ensure that each application is complete regardless of when you started preparing it or when you submit it. The current regulation and applications can still be used.

Further information may be seen at this link.

Image: USDA logo courtesy of USDA 

0