USDA seeking applications for renewable energy and energy efficiency loans and grants

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah is encouraging rural small businesses to apply for loans and grants to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

“Helping rural small businesses save money on energy costs strengthens their bottom line and helps the U.S. become more energy independent,” Mensah said. “It also reduces our country’s carbon footprint, which leads to a cleaner environment and a more secure energy future.”

USDA is accepting Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) applications for the following:

  • loans and grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements
  • grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance

Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Energy audits and renewable energy development assistance grants are available to state, tribal or local governments, institutions of higher education, and rural electric cooperatives and public power entities.

Through the REAP program, USDA has supported nearly 11,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide since the start of the Obama Administration. The Department has provided more than $367 million in grants and $354 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners during this period.

For application deadlines and details on how to apply in South Dakota, contact Darlene Bresson, USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at darlene.bresson@sd.usda.gov or (605) 886-8202, Extension 120. Or see Page 60349 of the October 6 Federal Register.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

Application deadline is February 1, 2016.