USDA solicits REAP applications

By Erin Voegele | February 15, 2021

USDA Rural Development has announced it is now accepting applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements through the Rural Energy for America Program. Applications must be submitted by March 31.

REAP provides eligible applicants with grant funding to help purchase and install renewable energy systems, such as renewable biomass, anaerobic digesters, hydrogen, solar, wind, geothermal, or hydropower. Grant funds can also be used to make energy efficiency improvements.

Grant funding is available for up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs, with a maximum of $500,000 for renewable energy systems and a maximum of $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Guaranteed loan funding is also available in conjunction with grant funding.

Eligible applicants include agricultural producers and rural small for-profit businesses, which must be located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 residents or less. According to the USDA, approximately $9 million is available in fiscal year 2021 for grants requesting $20,000 or less. Program funding for grants of any size is approximately $32 million.

As of Oct. 1, 2020, the REAP program is streamlined under the USDA’s OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative. Additional information on the REAP program is available on the USDA website