Colorado, May 05, 2014 --
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking applications from rural small businesses and agricultural producers for funding to make energy efficiency improvements or to install renewable energy systems.
“Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America,” Vilsack said. “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.”
The funding announced today is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Investments from programs like REAP help support the true engine of America’s economic growth – a thriving middle class. REAP funding has helped farmers expand renewable energy use in recent years. The new Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms utilizing renewable energy production has doubled in the last five years. More than 57,000 farms reported using a renewable energy system in 2012, while 23,451 operations reported doing so in 2007.
Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, REAP was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. For fiscal year (FY) 2014, USDA plans to award up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees. Additional REAP funds provided by the Farm Bill will be made available with a subsequent notice. USDA is accepting applications for:
· Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantee and grant combinations (due July 7, 2014);
· Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees (accepted on a continuous basis up to July 31, 2014); and
· Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants (due July 7, 2014).
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. Information on how to apply for REAP funding is available on page 25564 of the May 5, 2014 Federal Register or contact Don Nunn, Donald.firstname.lastname@example.org (720)544-2907.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).