The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making more than $280 million available for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
REAP provides grants, feasibility studies and guaranteed loans that help farmers and rural businesses invest in wind systems that lower operating costs.
According to the agency, grants will be offered for up to 25% of the total cost of the project and loan guarantees will be offered for up to 75% of total project costs for renewable energy systems and energy-efficiency improvements.
Eligible renewable energy projects must incorporate commercially available technology. This includes renewable energy from wind, solar, ocean, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass. The maximum grant amount is $500,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.
According to the USDA, the REAP program was created in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 Farm. Because of the success of the program, Congress reauthorized it in the Agricultural Act of 2014, with guaranteed annual funding of no less than $50 million for the duration of the five-year bill.