The USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides monetary assistance to rural businesses and agricultural producers to complete various renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Included in these are solar PV and solar thermal projects such as those offered by Envirosolar Power. The program is administered by the USDA Rural Development and offers grants and loan guarantees to many agricultural producers and rural small business.
The USDA Grant is designed for those receiving at least 50% of gross income from agriculture, either as an individual or as a business. This is made possible by the 2002 Farm Bill. This bill established a grant and loan guarantee program to assist eligible ranchers, farmers and rural small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems.
The Purposes of the USDA Solar Farms Grant
The USDA grant funds have been allocated in order to promote and support small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. By making solar improvements more affordable, this improves the quality of life of these businesses and individuals through inexpensive power generation.
Some things that fall under the grant include:
- Purchase/installation of qualified equipment
- Construction and improvements
- Permit fees
- Professional service fees
- Business plans
- Waste collection
Who qualifies for these grants?
These USDA Grants are made available to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses depending on location. The program’s eligible projects include improvements that utilize energy from wind, solar, biomass or geothermal sources. Also included is energy derived from hydrogen, biomass, or water using wind, solar or geothermal energy sources.
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