WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand recently invited applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.
The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. This notice seeks applications for Fiscal Year 2021 funding. The deadlines to apply for grants are Feb. 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.
REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations. Eligible systems may derive energy from wind, solar, hydroelectric, ocean, hydrogen, geothermal or renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters).
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-prosperity-report.pdf) to help improve life in rural America.
Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments.
Key strategies include:
- Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
- Developing the Rural Economy
- Harnessing Technological Innovation
- Supporting a Rural Workforce
- Improving Quality of Life
For additional information, see the notice in the Federal Register (https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-26086.pdf).
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