USDA Offers New Rural Energy Efficiency Grants and Loan Guarantees

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Rural energy efficiency grants and loans guarantees are now available through the US Department of Agriculture for small rural businesses and agricultural producers.

In all, the USDA is offering $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loans for both energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through this solicitation.

The USDA is accepting applications for:

  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantee and grant combinations
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants.

Requests for grants may not exceed 25 percent of a project’s cost – either for stand-alone grant requests or for grants combined with loan guarantees.

The deadline to apply is July 7 for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications.

The USDA will take applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications on a continuous basis up to July 31, 2014.

The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, REAP was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill.

Since the start of the Obama Administration, REAP has supported more than 8,200 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. During this period, USDA has provided more than $264 million in grants and $212 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners.

“Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America,” said US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This funding will help farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations, create jobs and help America become more energy independent. When small rural businesses and farmers cut their energy costs with cleaner and more efficient energy, we are both helping their bottom lines and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that affects our climate.”

For information contact Kelley Oehler, branch chief, USDA Rural Development, Energy Division, (202) 720–6819. kelley.oehler@ wdc.usda.gov. For state information contact your state USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator.

A detailed solicitation notice is available in the Federal Registry.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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