USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for grants and loan guarantees for farmers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. The REAP grants can provide financial assistance for 25% of the eligible cost for the purchase and installation of a renewable energy system or to make energy efficiency improvements. The maximum grant for renewable energy systems is $500,000 or $250,000 for energy efficiency improvement projects.
To be eligible for renewable energy and energy efficiency grants, applicants must be either agricultural producers earning at least 51% of gross income from agricultural production, or a small business, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Projects must be located in rural areas with a population of 50,000 or less. The proposed renewable energy or energy efficiency technology must be commercially available in order to be eligible for the REAP program.
Applications may be obtained by contacting USDA Rural Development, Business & Community Programs, at 573-876-0995, or online at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo/REAP_index.htm. The deadline for grant applications to be considered for funding in FY 2010 is 4:30 PM on June 30, 2010.