The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week announced that it will support 821 projects being run by small rural businesses and agricultural concerns. The projects all are aimed at reducing energy use and cutting costs. The funding, which consists of $43.2 million in loan guarantees and $11.6 million in grants, will made available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), according to the press release.
Projects will be supported in every state and the Virgin Islands, the Western Pacific and Puerto Rico. From 2009 onward, REAP has participated in more than 11,000 energy projects that have reduced energy costs for about 15,000 rural businesses. It has provide more than $373 million in grants and $481 million in loan guarantees.
Early this year, the USDA awarded $46 million to the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. to support projects in rural areas of the state.