usdaLogoOn December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a Notice of Funding Announcement for the agency’s Rural Energy America Program (REAP), which is designed to help “agricultural producers and rural small businesses” with reducing their energy consumption and costs and meeting more of their energy needs through renewable sources. Under REAP, USDA offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. Eligible projects include: the purchase, installation, and construction of renewable energy systems; energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings and facilities; use of renewable energy technologies that reduce energy use; and participation in energy audits and renewable energy development studies.

The first round of REAP funding applications are due April 30, 2015. Agricultural producers or qualifying small businesses interested in applying for REAP funding are encouraged to contact Pamela Crozier, USDA’s State Specialist/Energy Coordinator for Tennessee. Ms. Crozier can be reached at Pamela.Crozier@tn.usda.gov or 615-783-1367.
For more information on REAP, including eligibility requirements and application instructions, visit the Notice of Funding Announcement in the Federal Register. Additional information on REAP is also available on the program’s website.