USDA seeks applicants for bioenergy feasibility study grants

By Anna Austin
Posted September 7, 2010, at 3:02 p.m.

The USDA has announced an availability of $3 million in funding under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems for agriculture producers and rural small businesses.

The REAP/feasibility grant program provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance and funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems. Eligible applicants include farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses who gain 50 percent or more of their gross income from the agricultural operations.

Eligible feasibility study projects include those that will produce renewable energy from biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro power and hydrogen-based sources. The energy produced may be heat, electricity or fuel. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis, may cover up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs, and are limited to $50,000.

For all projects, the system must be located in a rural area, must be technically feasible and must also be owned by the applicant.
The application deadline is Oct. 5, 2010. To apply for funding for the REAP grant program, contact your state office for USDA Rural Development.