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USDA Awards $2 Million for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy

April 24, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first round of fiscal year 2015 awards for the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). The $2 million will go out to 25 intermediary entities such as universities and electric cooperatives to provide energy audits and renewable energy development assistance to producers and small businesses in 24 states.

REAP provides two types of funding assistance — grants and guaranteed loans for renewable energy production and energy efficiency improvements for farms and rural small businesses, and grants for energy audits and renewable energy planning and development made to service providers who work with farmers and rural small businesses. Through this first round of FY 2015 funding, service providers will help small businesses and producers evaluate energy efficient systems and determine the most effective and affordable method of incorporating renewable energy technologies into their operations.

REAP-funded energy systems include wind, geothermal, biomass, anaerobic digesters, and solar. See below for more information on upcoming deadlines for direct funding for producers and businesses.

Select Energy Audit and Rural Energy Development Assistance Grant Recipients:

  • Colorado State University was awarded $50,088 for helping over thirty producers conduct solar and wind site assessments;
  • The University of Kentucky Research Foundation received $67, 169 to help producers and rural small businesses improve energy efficiency;
  • The University of Georgia received $73,340 to help farmers complete energy audits to make energy efficiency upgrades;
  • Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council received $100,000 to conduct up to 100 renewable energy site assessments throughout 27 western North Carolina counties; and
  • The Greater Portland Council of Governments in Maine was awarded $100,000 to help farmers and rural small businesses adopt renewable energy technologies.

Other states receiving funds include California, Illinois, Washington, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon, Maine, and Ohio. The complete list of recipients can be found here.

For more information about previous recipients, see our previous blog post about 2014 REAP awards.

Upcoming Deadlines

For farms or small businesses seeking renewable energy or energy efficiency improvement grants for which the requested amount is less than $20,000, the deadline for 2015 is April 30. For larger grants and for requests for a combination of a grant and a guaranteed loan, the deadline is also April 30. However, there is also a second batch cutoff date of June 30 for larger grants or grant/loan combinations, as well as small grants not submitted in the first round.

Application details can be found in the Federal Register notice, or by visiting a local USDA Rural Development office.

For more information about REAP grant awards and loan eligibility, check out our Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs or USDA’s REAP website.


Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment, Grants and Programs

One response to “USDA Awards $2 Million for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy”

  1. adebimpey says:

    The Greater Portland Council of Governments in Maine was awarded $100,000 to help farmers and rural small businesses adopt renewable energy technologies! Nice one