USDA Seeks Grant Applications for Rural Renewable Energy Projects by October 31st

USDALINCOLN, NEBRASKA – The next deadline for Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grants is October 31, 2015.  This deadline for grant applications has designated funding for small projects requesting $20,000 or less (25% of total eligible project costs). Grant requests for this round have a simplified, streamlined process and can be as low as $2,500 for renewable energy projects and $1,500 for energy efficiency projects. All agricultural producers, including farmers and ranchers, who derive 50% or more of their gross income from agricultural operations are eligible. Businesses in a rural area, meeting the Small Business Administration size standards, may also apply. A private entity, a rural utility, and rural electric cooperatives are typically eligible; however, nonprofit and public bodies are not eligible.

USDA Rural Development provides financial assistance in the form of grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements through the REAP.  This program provides funds for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems and to make energy-efficiency improvements.  The renewable energy projects range from installation of solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass; and energy efficiency improvements to irrigation systems, poultry houses, upgrading air conditioning, lighting and refrigeration systems.

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. CST on October 31, 2015.  Please contact Jeff Carpenter, State Energy Coordinator, at the Nebraska USDA Rural Development State Office, Suite 308, Federal Building 100 Centennial Mall North Lincoln, Nebraska 68508, call 402-437-5554 or email jeff.carpenter@ne.usda.gov.

The next funding deadline will be April 30, 2016 for projects of any size with maximum grants limited to $500,000 for renewable energy projects and $250,000 for energy efficiency projects (25% of total eligible project costs).  Any eligible applications not funded during the October 31, 2015 funding cycle will be reconsidered.

To find the office which serves your county visit: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-re...Click on “View All State Program Contacts.” You may also visit this same website for more general information on the program and details on how to apply for funding.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING SOURCES FOR SOLAR ENERGY PROJECTS

  • Federal Tax Credit of 30% for qualified installations
  • Accelerated depreciation for businesses
  • Self-Employment Tax Credit

USDA NEWS RELEASES ABOUT PREVIOUS NEBRASKA REAP GRANT AWARDS
USDA Rural Development Awards Funding to 23 Nebraska Recipients to Assist with Energy Needs – August 26, 2015

USDA Invests $63 Million to Support 264 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects—15 Nebraska Energy Projects Funded at Nearly $159,000 – August 12, 2015  

USDA Rural Development Awards Funding to 15 Nebraska Recipients to Assist with Energy Needs – August 4, 2015 

Funding supports Energy Audits in Rural Nebraska to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses in evaluating the energy efficiency of their operations and considering alternative equipment, machinery and systems. – July 7, 2015

USDA Rural Development Awards Funding to 15 Nebraska Recipients to Assist with Energy Needs – June 12, 2015