The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to help strengthen the bottom lines of rural West Virginia businesses and agricultural producers.
REAP is intended to help lower the cost of energy for small businesses and agricultural producers in West Virginia by investing in renewable energy projects and energy efficiency improvements. The USDA is making $300 million available through REAP, which includes an additional $250 million provided by the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic legislative package known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
Two significant changes to this additional funding include an increase in the maximum Federal grant share from 25% to 40% of total project cost and an increase of maximum grant amounts from $250,000 to $500,000 for energy efficiency projects and an increase from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for renewable energy systems. Projects in underserved areas are prioritized for funding under this notice.
USDA RD West Virginia will host an informational webinar for applicants and stakeholders from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2023. To register, visit: https://tinyurl.com/REAP23.
Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible applicants for loan guarantees and grants to develop renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements. State and local governments, federally-recognized tribes, land-grant colleges or universities or other institutions of higher education, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, and Resource Conservation & Development Councils (as defined in 16 USC §3451) are eligible applicants for grants to conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.
Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Jesse Gandee, West Virginia’s USDA Rural Development Business Programs Director by phone at (304) 238-5655 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants should reach out well in advance of the application deadline to discuss their project and ask any questions about the REAP program or the application process. Applications are due March 31, 2023.
Additional information on the required materials and how to apply for the REAP program are available on page 77059 of the Dec. 16, 2022, Federal Register.
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