The USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Currently, the USDA is seeking applications for Fiscal Year 2020.
The purpose of the program is to create energy independence through increasing access to capital for renewable energy projects and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficient initiatives. Funds may be used to buy, install, and install renewable energy systems, including solar, biomass, hydrogen, wind, geothermal, and more. Other possible uses include energy efficiency improvements for HVAC systems, insulation, lighting, doors and windows, cooling units, and more. Applications for grants and/or loans have varying deadlines:
- Grants and/or Loans of $20,000 or Less: Applications due October 31, 2019 or March 31, 2020
- Unrestricted Grants and/or Loans: Applications due March 31, 2020
- Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants: Applications due January 31, 2020
- Guaranteed Loans: Applications are accepted on a continuous cycle
The agency encourages all applicants to consider projects that offer measurable results in rural communities, helping them build robust, sustainable economics through effective and strategic investments in partnerships, infrastructure and innovation. According to the USDA, these strategies may include:
- Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
- Developing the Rural Economy
- Harnessing Technological Innovation
- Supporting a Rural Workforce
- Improving Quality of Life
Follow this link to learn more about REAP or apply for financial assistance. Click here to find the REAP point of contact for your region in Tennessee.