Friday, May 9, 2014

USDA Announces Renewable Energy Funds

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

USDA Announces Rural Energy for America Funds

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that the USDA has funding available for rural small businesses and agricultural producers who want to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems.

The funding is available through USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is one of many USDA programs and initiatives that supports an expanded domestic energy economy.  In addition to helping to increase renewable energy production, USDA makes investments in the bioeconomy, provides support for the emerging biobased products industry, supports new technologies, and supports energy efficiency improvements.

"Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural
America," Vilsack said. "This funding will help farmers, ranchers and rural small business
owners incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations,
create jobs, and help America become more energy independent.”
REAP funding has helped farmers expand renewable energy use since it was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. Since the start of the Obama Administration, REAP has supported more than 8,200 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by agricultural producers and rural small business owners nationwide.

REAP was reauthorized by the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. For fiscal year 2014, USDA plans to award up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees. Additional REAP funds provided by the Farm Bill will be announced subsequently.

USDA is accepting applications for:
•    Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantee and grant combinations
•    Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees
•    Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants

Requests for grants may not exceed 25 percent of a project's cost – either for stand-alone grant requests or for grants combined with loan guarantees.

Information on how to apply for REAP funding and on the application deadlines, which
vary by project type, is available on page 25564 of the May 5, 2014 Federal Register:


ATTRA—National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service was developed and is maintained  through a cooperative agreement with the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service  by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Butte, Montana.

ATTRA has been the nation’s leading resource for information on sustainable agriculture since 1987, covering a wide range of topics, including reducing pesticide use on cropland, promoting food safety in sustainable production systems, reducing farm energy use and costs, enriching soils with the use of cover crops, and providing technical assistance in the growing areas of local farmers markets and urban agriculture.

In addition to hundreds of sustainable-agriculture publications, ATTRA’s other popular offerings include a free sustainable-agriculture telephone helpline and the “Ask an Ag Expert” feature on the home page.  It has an archive of webinars and videos generated by NCAT and partnering organizations.

ATTRA also maintains numerous popular databases, including sustainable-agriculture internships and apprenticeships, and is a source for the day’s agriculture news, among other features. ATTRA's website is available at


Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. In partnership with businesses, organizations, individuals and agricultural producers, staff is working from NCAT’s seven regional offices around the country to advance solutions that will ensure the next generation inherits a world that has clean air and water, energy production that is efficient and renewable, and healthy foods grown with sustainable practices. More information about its programs and services is available at or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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