The USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) can provide grants and/or loan guarantees for rural businesses and farmers to install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. These types of improvements can help control energy input costs and improve overall profitability of operations. The grant program can cover 25% of the eligible project costs, while the loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs. Grants can range from $1,500 to $500,000 with loan guarantees up to $25 million.
Those who qualify must be either an agricultural producer (at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations) or a small business in areas with populations less than 50,000. A “small” business is defined by Small Business Association guidelines.
The next deadline for this program is Oct. 31. Application materials can be found at ofb.ag/reapenergy under the “To Apply’ tab.
For more information about REAP, contact Randy Monhemius, business programs specialist, at [email protected] or 614-255-2424.