USDA has more than $400 million available for Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees | TheFencePost.com

USDA has more than $400 million available for Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Loan Guarantees

-USDA

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today encouraged farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lower their energy costs.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses,” Baxley said. “USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program is an important tool to help strengthen and grow the rural economy.”

USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. Potential applicants should contact their state USDA Rural Development office for additional information.

REAP funding can be used for renewable energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar. It also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. Below are some examples of USDA’s REAP investments.

· Edgehill Farms, an ag tourism center in Oakland, Ky., received a $34,596 loan guarantee to install a 34.8-kilowatt photovoltaic array system on the roof of its ham processing facility. The system will generate approximately 45,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually that will be sold directly to the local utility, earning $4,448 for the firm annually.

· In Magnolia, N.C., Optima KV received a $6.5 million loan guarantee for an anaerobic digester that will help hog producers dispose of waste by converting it to energy. The project aggregates multiple biogas streams at a refinery. The resulting natural gas is then transported via pipeline to a power plant to generate electricity. The digester produces additional revenue for hog producers and a cleaner environment.