55% of Commercial Renewable Energy System cost can be subsidized through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Federal Tax Incentives.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill and is designed to offer grants and loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses that embark on energy efficient and/or renewable energy projects.
REAP grants and loan guarantees can be used for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.
The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and the amount awarded can be up to 25% of the total eligible project costs. The REAP grant can be combined with a 30% federal tax incentive and additionally up to 50% can be funded via a commercial loan. REAP funding can be made in the form of grants, guaranteed loans or a combination of a grant/guaranteed loan to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements in rural areas.
Rural Development’s REAP grants to farms are a funding method that contribute to making farm operations more energy efficient and economical. This funding for renewable energy projects helps rebuild and revitalize rural America.
Eligible renewable energy projects include projects that produce energy from solar. The projects can produce any form of energy including, heat, electricity, or fuel. For all projects, the system must be located in a rural area, must be technically feasible, and must be owned by the applicant.
The program is designed to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses that are able to demonstrate financial need. All agricultural producers, including farmers and ranchers, who realize 50% or more of their gross income from agricultural operations are eligible. Small businesses that are located in a rural area can also apply. Rural electric cooperatives may also be eligible to apply.
Grants are limited to $500,000 for commercial renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Grant requests as low as $2,500 for renewable energy systems and $1,500 for energy efficiency improvements will be considered. At least 20% of the grant funds awarded must be for grants of $20,000 or less.
Solora Solar can also assist you with resources to help with your application process. The application process for this program is now closed. However, if you are interested in participating in the next round of funding, prepare now by calling at (800) 696-8935.