Next Deadline: October 31, 2022
What does this program do?
The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.
Who may apply for this program?
- Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations.
- Small businesses in eligible rural areas.
Above Photo: In 2015 Rick and Heidi Hammond installed a 25-kilowatt photovoltaic system on their farm west of Benedict in York County, Nebraska. The project estimate at the time was $84,864; however, a USDA grant and federal tax credits reduced the cost to only $19,100, The payback was just over 6 years, which was achieved in 2021. Solar panels typically last 30 or more years.
Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears
Another Local Example: The Brummond Farm
Click the link, below, to access a Successful Farming story published in 2021 about the Brummond Farm near Craig, Nebraska. The installer, Graham Christensen of GC ReVOLT, offers renewable energy grants writing among the company’s services. The Solar Power Bonanza: Farmers Can Readily Tap Into The Explosive Growth In Solar Generation
Most Recent Nebraska REAP Grant Awardees
In Nebraska, six recipients were awarded grants under the Rural Energy for America Program. Recipients here are: in Albion, MSJM Properties Partnership, Marilee Niewohner, and Niewohner Grandchildren’s Limited Partnership; in Boyd, Valley Foods Cooperative; in Holdrege, Spady Buick Pontiac GMC Inc.; and in Monroe, Alan G Preister. Combined, they were awarded $68,500 for projects that will save or generate 491,444 kWh per year, enough energy to power 45 homes annually.
“I encourage Nebraskans to connect with us to find out how USDA can partner with them for their energy conservation needs. For more information, contact Jeff Carpenter, energy coordinator, at (402) 437-5554 or at NE.RBCS@usda.gov,” said Bolz.
Information on the federal investment tax credit (currently 26%), energy audits, depreciation, NDEE loans and more can be found here: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency – Nebraska.
- Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
- USDA – Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program
- Farmers and other business owners can depreciate the value of solar panels and reduce the cost of a system even more. See: Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)
- Dollar & Energy Savings Loans, Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy