The USDA on Friday, March 29th, released a funding notice for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for 2013. While the funding levels have diminished, the funding this year will help hundreds of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the country reach fruition.
REAP supports a broad range of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. With REAP farm energy includes energy efficiency, wind power, solar, hydroelectric and bioenergy of many sorts.
It’s important to note that the deadline for grants for feasibility study or project construction is April 30. This is a very tight turnaround – the shortest in the history of the REAP program. However, the timeline for loan guarantees is generous – a deadline of July 15, 2013.
Competition will be strong as overall funding available is now only $20.8 million. The USDA hopes to allocate one half each for grants and loan guarantees. If the USDA succeeds in using $10.4 million in funding for loan guarantees, the risk-adjusted level of loan guarantees would be $43.4 million.
The USDA has set aside $4.1 million to fund grants of $20,000 or less. This reflects the emphasis placed by Congress on small projects in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Feasibility study funding has been capped at $250,000 nationwide. The USDA provides no reason for this cap.
Interested parties should contact their state USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator
. You can download the official funding notice here