WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on today’s release of the 2018 Farm Bill conference report:
“We’re pleased to see continued bipartisan support for the Rural Energy for America Program, which enables the spread of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements throughout America’s heartland. This USDA program finances projects in every state, helping entrepreneurs in rural communities reduce their energy costs.
Solar power is an affordable, clean, job-producing solution that America’s farmers and small businesses can greatly benefit from. We urge Congress to pass this important legislation before the end of the year.” – SEIA News Release
USDA Rural Energy for America Program
Nebraska USDA Rural Development
USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett recently announced that the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is accepting grant applications for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement projects. The application deadline is April 30, 2018 for grants and loan/grant combinations. Small businesses in eligible rural areas and agricultural producers, both rural and non-rural, who have at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations, may apply. Check eligible business addresses.
REAP grants provide up to 25% of the total project costs, and a grant and loan combination up to 75%. Eligible projects include renewable energy systems and the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements. See REAP Fact Sheet for a complete list of eligible projects.
The terms for renewable energy system grants are from $2,500 minimum to $500,000 maximum and for energy efficiency grants, from $1,500 minimum to $250,000 maximum.
Nebraska REAP Program
Nebraska Rural Development Energy Coordinator
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $300 million to help hundreds of small businesses across the country save money on their energy costs by adopting renewable sources or implementing more efficient energy options. Vilsack made the announcement at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, today during a meeting with several local business owners who will make use of these loans and grants.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
REAPing America’s Clean Energy Future, USDA Blog, Posted by Sam Rikkers, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Service
Today, Secretary Vilsack announced hundreds of new projects like the one I visited over the summer in Central City, Nebraska. It exemplifies the strategic thinking our rural communities use daily to find new ways to prosper. A community just shy of 3,000 residents, Central City is home to the first community solar garden project ever developed in Nebraska. Read the entire post.
Photo: Administrator Sam Rikkers (left) discusses the Central City Solar Garden Project with (L-R) City Administrator Chris Anderson, Cliff Mesner of Mesner Development Company (with his back to the camera), and Bill Sheppard and Jeff Carpenter of USDA Rural Development’s Nebraska offices.
USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants
Nebraska Contact for the Rural Energy for America Program
Greg Brummond of Craig, Nebraska, now powers half his corn and soybean farm with solar energy. (Photo by Brian Seifferlein, Harvest Public Media)
By Grant Gerlock, Harvest Public Media
Down the hill [on Greg Brummond’s farm in Craig, Nebraska] is an old, red and white shed that was going unused, until Brummond installed a brand-new 10-kilowatt solar array on top. The system now delivers about half of the farm’s electricity. “We’ve got 36 panels down there,” Brummond said pointing to the rows of black panels on the shed’s white steel roof. “It just made sense to utilize something we have and not just keep pulling electricity off of the
grid” . . . Once the panels are paid for, Brummond expects to cut thousands each year from electric bills. But he says another reason for going solar is to stop relying so much on fossil fuels.
Read or listen to the entire story here.
Harvest Public Media and Inside Energy are reporting on how energy fuels our food system. Food production consumes about a fifth of the U.S. energy supply. Some farmers are trying to cut back on the coal and gas used to grow our food.
INFORMATION ABOUT USDA FUNDING
Spring Deadline for Rural Energy for America (REAP) Grants
WASHINGTON, District of Columbia – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA has selected Mid America Agri Products/Wheatland, LLC of Madrid, NE to receive $500,000 for ethanol production and Aaron Ross of Columbus, NE to receive $41,250 for wind energy.
These two projects bring the Federal Fiscal Year 2015 funding in Nebraska to 70 projects for $1,806,905 through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy/energy efficiency projects. Through these projects, enough energy was generated or saved to power 4,808 homes. Additionally, an energy auditing program was funded under the REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance for $71,363.
Read the entire news release here.
See additional Nebraska grant awards for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects here: Rural Energy for America Program – October 26, 2015 (PDF)
Art Tanderup discusses the solar panels he uses to generate electricity at his Neligh-area farm during a renewable energy forum Thursday night in Norfolk. Since January, the panels have supplied 82.5 percent of the energy he’s used, which decreased his energy bill by 66 percent compared to the same time frame in 2014.
By Christina Lieffring, Columbus Telegram
NORFOLK – The Nebraska Farmers Union organized a forum Thursday evening at Northeast Community College’s Lifelong Learning Center, where presenters discussed renewable energy’s impact on the economy, climate change and faith.
NECC’s dean of applied technology, Lyle Kathol, first presented on the opportunities for students and professionals with the development of wind energy in Nebraska. NECC offers the state’s only wind energy technology associate degree, a two-year program that trains students to work in construction or repair of wind turbines.
Read more here.
Available grant funding & incentives for renewable energy projects:
By Jackie Kent, NBC Nebraska
The application process is open until June 30th. Eligibility information and the form are available here.
Solar Array on Kleinschmidt Farm
HASTINGS, Neb. — The USDA Rural Development through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) awarded $146,000 in grants to 15 Nebraska applicants to help with energy conservation.
According to a news release, the funds will cover energy-efficient improvements and renewable energy systems installation.
The USDA has awarded $545 million to support similar projects worldwide since 2009. For local award recipients, that means helping rural development.
To continue reading and view the video, click here.
USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant Applications: Due April 30, 2015
The USDA has announced funding to assist agricultural producers and small business owners in applying for resources to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Eligible renewable energy systems include wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, and geothermal.
For more information, contact:
Nebraska Rural Development Energy Coordinator
Kelley Messenger, USDA Rural Development
4009 6th Avenue, Suite 1
Kearney, NE 68845
Telephonw: (308) 237-3118 Extension 1120
USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency
A USDA REAP grant, if awarded, covers 25% of the project. Additional funding sources include:
* Federal Tax Credit of 30% for qualified installations
* Accelerated depreciation for businesses
* Self-Employment Tax Credit