Latest REAP Projects Include Geothermal

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced funding for 424 projects across the nation to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs, and use renewable energy technologies in their operations.

usda-rd-logo3“Today’s Rural Energy for America Program announcements will provide further assistance for agricultural producers and rural small business owners to save energy, promote renewable energy creation, and boost the bottom line for their operation,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By investing in renewable energy created in rural America, USDA is able to provide new income opportunities in our small towns while supporting the Obama Administration’s comprehensive effort to combat the impacts of a changing climate.”

Vilsack noted that the funding announcement is another reminder of the importance of Farm Bill programs for the economic vitality of rural America, and a compelling reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed as soon as possible. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy, Vilsack added.

The Rural Energy for America Program offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other private funding sources for businesses. Since 2009, REAP has helped fund more than 8,250 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide.

Vilsack announced more than $14 million in grants and loan guarantees to business owners in 22 states, the Western Pacific, the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. For example, Grinnell Markets Inc., of Grinnell, Iowa, has been selected to receive a $39,000 grant to install more energy efficient lighting and refrigeration and to install a more efficient heating, ventilation and cooling system. L&S Pumping, Inc., in Strawberry Point, IA, was selected for an $11,675 grant to help purchase and install a geothermal heating and cooling system for a business equipment maintenance shop. DeChant-Notley Farms in Oberlin, OH, has been selected for a $29,775 grant to replace an inefficient grain dryer. In Derwood, MN, Derwood Technologies Inc. is receiving a $14,800 grant to install a 9.95 kilowatt solar project on a building.

Of the 424 projects selected in this round of REAP grants, 45 use geothermal heat pumps. Other renewable energy sources include biomass, solar and wind. The vast majority of projects are for energy efficiency measures. View the list of recipients on the Rural Energy for America Program website.

Under REAP, up to 25% of an eligible renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement project can be funded through a grant, and additional support can be provided in the form of a loan guarantee. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant or loan agreement.