USDA opens funding opportunity for REAP

By Erin Voegele | April 04, 2013

The USDA has published a notice of funding availability for the Rural Energy for America Program for fiscal year 2013. The program provides financial assistance in the form of grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of renewable energy system and energy efficiency projects. It also provides grant funding for conducting renewable energy feasibility studies.

According to information published by the USDA in the Federal Register, there is up to $20.8 million available for fiscal year 2013 awards, which is enough to support up to $10.4 million in grants and $43.4 million in loan guarantees.

Information posted to the USDA website specifies that there are two technology categories eligible for the funding: renewable energy projects and energy efficiency improvement projects. The renewable energy category includes biomass and bioenergy projects, including those that produce liquid biofuels and those that produce electric power. Biomass and anaerobic digestion projects that produce thermal energy or electric power are also eligible. The program also allows funding for retail flexible fuel pumps, such as those commonly used to dispense ethanol blends.

Applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement grants and combination grant and loan guarantees are due April 30. Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees are accepted on a continuous basis through July 15. Renewable energy system feasibility applications are also due April 30.