USDA Rural Development opens rural energy grant application round

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened the call for applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.

The deadline to apply for the grants is Feb. 1 and Mar. 31, 2021, respectively.

The funding is being provided through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This program helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

“The REAP funds will be used to assist farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses in developing renewable energy systems and making energy-efficiency improvements to their operations,” said Josue E. Rivera, USDA Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico.

In August 2020, 16 business in Puerto Rico received $631,993 to develop renewable energy systems and/or make energy-efficiency improvements to their operations, Rivera said.

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments. Key strategies include:

  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America;
  • Developing the Rural Economy;
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation;
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce; and,
  • Improving Quality of Life.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas.

This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Source: newsismybusiness.com