By Cody Smith, Policy Associate at The Center for Rural Affairs, Record Herald
In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced more than $400 million available for farmers and rural business owners under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP, a farm bill program, provides financing for energy efficiency upgrades like insulation, lighting, and HVAC systems. Renewable energy systems like solar panels, anaerobic digesters, and wind turbines are also eligible. For both farmers and rural business owners, these systems can help cut energy costs—keeping money in rural economies across the nation. Read more here.
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.
- USDA Invests in Energy Efficiency Improvements to Help Farmers, Rural Businesses and Ag Producers Lower Energy Costs, USDA News Release
- USDA Has More Than $400 Million Still Available for Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees, USDA News Release
- USDA Invests in energy efficiency improvements to help farmers, rural business, Capital Journal HURON – Rural Development State Director for South Dakota Julie Gross today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding nine grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for projects throughout South Dakota to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.
- Vermont farm turns manure into renewable energy, powering Middlebury College: It’s the largest anaerobic digester east of the Mississippi, WPTZ
- REAP Fact Sheet: As Cody Smith states in the Record Herald article, anaerobic digesters are among the types of projects that are eligible for REAP funding. Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only, or at least 25% of the project cost if applying for a loan, or loan and grant combination. Besides REAP grants, taking advantage of additional federal and local incentives and rebates can significantly reduce a project’s final cost.