New initiative to help ag producers and rural small businesses
The new Rural Energy for America Program will provide $1 billion to install renewable energy systems or to make energy-efficiency improvements.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new $1 billion program to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses invest in renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements.
Named the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the initiative is a component of the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” Recipients may use REAP funds to install renewable energy systems or to make energy-efficiency improvements. Eligible applicants include rural small businesses and agricultural producers.
As described in this news release, the maximum federal share which may be requested is up to 50 percent of the total project cost. An award of up to 50 percent of the total project cost is also available for any project in a designated energy community and/or submitted by an eligible tribal entity. All other projects are eligible to apply for grants of up to 25 percent of the total project cost. The maximum grant is $1 million for renewable energy systems and $500,000 for energy-efficiency projects.
USDA will hold six quarterly competitions through September 30, 2024. The funding will also include the creation of the first underutilized technology fund in the REAP program, with $144.5 million available in dedicated funding.