The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development recently announced that rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply for resources to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. These efforts help to save money on energy bills, reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, support a clean energy economy, and cut carbon pollution.
USDA is now accepting Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) applications for loan guarantees to help finance the cost of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.
Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to purchase and install renewable energy systems that incorporate commercially available technology. This includes renewable energy from wind, solar, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters). Eligible energy efficiency improvement projects include lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, fans, automated controls, manufacturing equipment and insulation upgrades that reduce energy consumption.
Through the REAP loan guarantees, USDA Rural Development may guarantee up to 85 percent of a commercial loan. Rates and terms are negotiated with the lender, and subject to USDA approval. Loan assistance may cover up to 75 percent of eligible project costs. Maximum loan amount is $25 million. Lender benefits include mitigating risk, expanding portfolio, and secondary market sales.
For application deadlines and details on how to apply, contact the USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator for Wisconsin, Brenda Heinen at 715.345.7610 or [email protected].
More information on USDA Rural Development is available at rd.usda.gov/wi.