The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging rural small businesses to apply for loans and grants aimed at renewable energy and energy-related projects, according to a press release from the agency reposted at Biomass Magazine.
The USDA, according to the release, is accepting applications for loans and grants for new “renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements” and “energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.” The monies will flow under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
State, tribal and local governments can apply for REAP help for wind, solar, biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal and hydrogen-derived projects.
In August, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 REAP projects. The projects, the release said, are expected to save or generate 207.8 million kWh, which is enough energy to power 13,6000 homes for a year.