Renewable energy is at the heart of nearly every discussion on climate change mitigation, energy security, and economic development. Much of the focus has been targeted toward larger cities and urban communities. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and the expansion of an existing program called REAP, rural areas now have a better access to cheaper and cleaner energy sources for their businesses.
The Rural Energy for America Program is designed to spark clean energy development in rural communities by offsetting the cost to transition to wind, solar, and other renewable sources. Managed by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), REAP provides grants and guaranteed loans based on the installation of clean energy systems or the implementation of efficiency improvements.
REAP AT A GLANCE
- Grant funding and loan financing applies to agricultural producers and rural small businesses
- Agricultural producers must earn at least 50% of their income from agricultural operations
- Agricultural producers may be rural or non-rural – small businesses must be rural only
- Rural development areas are defined as having a resident population of less than 50,000
- Funds can be used for renewable energy systems or efficiency improvements
REAP GRANT TERMS
- Available for up to 40% of the total eligible project costs
- Grants for renewable energy systems start at $2,500 and capped at $500,000
- Costs greater than $200,000 must have a technical report completed before project start
- May be combined with local, state, and federal incentives and energy tax credits
- Potential savings of up to 30% with Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
- 10% Domestic Content Benefit: All steel or iron used in projects must be produced in the United States and a “required percentage” of the total cost of manufactured products must be mined or produced in the United States.
- 10% Energy Community Benefit: Includes areas where a coal mine or coal-fired power plant has closed, as well as those that were once economically reliant on the extraction, processing, transport, or storage of fossil fuels and now face higher than average unemployment.
- 10% Low Income Community Benefit: A census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20% and the median family income is 80% or less of statewide median family income.
- Must be citizens, or legal residents, of the United States
- Must be the legal owner of the business
- Must be financially solvent
- No outstanding or delinquent federal taxes
- No judgment or debarment against the entity
- Funds must be used in the United States
- Eligible projects must be for a commercial or agricultural business. Project cannot benefit personal residence.
Hannah Solar understands just how valuable the Rural Energy for America Program can be for rural businesses, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural operators. Contact us soon to learn more about this incredible program and how we can best meet your unique needs.
*** The deadline to apply for REAP benefits is coming soon March 31, 2023!!! Contact us to get started today.***