USDA's mission includes revitalization of rural economies to create opportunities for growth and prosperity, support innovative technologies, identify new markets for agricultural producers, and make better use of natural resources. Authorized by the 2008 farm bill (formally the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), the USDA REAP program's goals are to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation's critical energy needs. Through the end of the 2012 fiscal year, REAP has funded over 6,800 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, feasibility studies, energy audits, and renewable energy development assistance projects.
Today USDA announced that it will accept applications for three REAP program categories:
- Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30, 2013
- Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15, 2013
- Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30, 2013
Application requirements for REAP assistance vary depending on the type of assistance sought. Those interested in applying for assistance can contact their local USDA office for more information, or consult a professional with experience working with the REAP program.
Preti Flaherty helps our clients evaluate whether REAP assistance is a good match for their businesses; I have assisted my clients in securing REAP funding for their energy projects. Please contact us at 207-791-3000 for more information.