March 22, 2012
This week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack released a report entitled The Impact of the Rural Energy for America Program on Promoting Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Report summarizes the energy efficiency and renewable energy projects funded by the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) over the last three years, 2009 through 2011. It also includes a state-by-state summary of REAP renewable energy projects, with a profile of selected projects.
Overall, during the 3-year period covered by the report, REAP accomplished the following:
Since the Program was first established in the 2002 Farm Bill, it has provided resources for more than 13,000 rural small businesses and agricultural producers, saved enough energy to power nearly 600,000 American homes for a year, and funded more than 1,000 solar projects and more than 560 wind projects.
REAP provides grants, loan guarantees, and a combination of grants and loan guarantees to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. USDA is taking applications for guaranteed loans for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements through June 29, 2012. Applications for REAP grants and loan/grant combinations are due no later than March 30th.
Additional information on applying for REAP funding is available in the Federal Register funding notice issued January 20. You can also contact your USDA Rural Development state office for more information.