BISMARCK, Apr 02, 2013 -- Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development state director, today announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available under USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
"Ag producers and business operations that become more energy efficient will increase profitability and create new opportunities for economic growth," Schneider said. "These investments will lessen our dependence on foreign oil while promoting North Dakota produced energy."
REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), seeks to provide funding for projects that incorporate energy-saving practices into business operations.
USDA is accepting the following applications:
• Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30, 2013;
• Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15, 2013;
• Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30, 2013.
During Schneider's tenure as State Director, 69 North Dakota projects have been awarded Renewable Energy grants for a total investment of $3.1 million. More information on how to apply for funding is available in the March 29, 2013 Federal Register, pages 19183-19190 or by contacting the USDA Rural Development office at (701) 530-2037.