USDA Invests $63M in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

By Solar Industry Magazine

USDA-renewablesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.

USDA is supporting these projects through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which was created by the 2008 farm bill and was reauthorized by the 2014 farm bill.

These newly funded projects are expected to generate and/or save 207.8 million kWh of energy – enough to power more than 13,600 homes for a year.

“This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports homegrown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.”

Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.

REAP-bill

Since the start of the Obama administration, USDA has supported more than 9,600 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide through REAP.

A list of the projects funded under this recent grant can be found here.

The next application deadline for REAP grants is Nov. 2. In the coming weeks, USDA will issue a notice of available funding with more details on how to apply.

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