REAP provides guaranteed loan financing (up to 75% of project costs) and grant funding (up to 25% of project costs) to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements. Funds may be used for renewable energy projects such as solar, small wind, or biomass digesters, and for energy efficiency measures such as high efficiency HVAC, lighting upgrades, insulation, or replacement of energy-inefficient equipment. Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment, which can be obtained from commercial auditors or through several non-profit organizations that can provide services at a minimal cost.
To be eligible, agricultural producers must show that at least 50% of their gross income comes from agricultural operations, and small businesses must be located in eligible areas. In general, this requirement eliminates areas in a city or town with a population greater than 50,000. Please refer to the program’s website for details.
The deadline to apply for grants is March 31, 2017. Loan guarantee applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. For information about programs in SC, contact Shannon Legree, 803-253-3150, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information about REAP see https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency