U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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REAP Funding Update, Part I

REAP Funding Update, Part I

Date: 7/31/2014

Source: Micheal Clements, National Association of Farm Broadcasters

Audio with Ron Omann, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Energy Coordinator (MP3 2.3 MB). Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:02:33.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a wide array of programs to help ensure America's energy independence. The Renewable Energy for America Program, or REAP, offers grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers, and small business owners in rural areas for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. REAP has supported more than 8,200 of these projects since it was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. The Energy Title in the 2014 Farm Bill includes reauthorization of several programs, including REAP.

USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator Ron Omann says an additional $50 million of mandatory funding and up to $20 million of discretionary funding have been dedicated to REAP (which is the primary vehicle for renewable energy funding) through the 2014 Farm Bill for fiscal years 2014 through 2018. As Omann explains, fiscal year funding is being combined.

"We're going to be putting both '14 and '15 monies together, so there will be $100 million total for projects throughout the country. And that's considered budget authority. So then that gets split into two funds. One is grant funds, which is a 25% grant of the total project cost. The other use of funds is through a guarantee loan program, which is essentially we're backing the lender's loss, up to 80%. And so, we can do a combination of them as well, a combination of the grant and loan. So someone could apply for 50% of the project for the loan and an additional 25 for the grant, and then have to provide another 25% of their own funds or additional funds to the lender or another source, such as tax credits or other incentives that are available, for those types of projects."

Omann says that USDA Rural Development is working to simplify the application process by adding another tier of applications for projects less than $80,000.

"In general, we want to streamline it and make it less of a barrier to get into it. And you'll see that in the upcoming application process and template. So if you have a project less than $80,000, you'll see significant streamlining efforts there. You'll also see significant streamlining in the other tiers of applications, as well."

For more information on REAP, visit rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_reap.html.

This information was last updated on August 01, 2014