Grant money available through REAP

Ron Kern
Posted 4/12/24

As part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act the USDA is awarding grant monies for a new Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

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Grant money available through REAP


As part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act the USDA is awarding grant monies for a new Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers can also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new systems loans for agricultural production and processing endeavors.

Eligible borrowers include:

Rural small businesses, and agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income derived from agricultural operations.

All applicants must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgement or debarment.

Loan restrictions that apply:

Borrowers must be citizens of the United States or reside in the United States after legally being admitted for permanent residence.

Borrowers must demonstrate that all money received will remain in projects undertaken in the United States.

Businesses applying must be in a rural area with a population of 50,000 or fewer. Agricultural producers can be located in rural and non-rural areas.

Funds can be used for a wide variety of renewable energy systems including:

Biomass (biodiesel, ethanol, anaerobic digesters and solid fuels), geothermal for electric generation, small and large wind generation, or small and large solar generation.

Funds can also be used to purchase, build or install energy efficiency improvements like: high-efficiency HVAC, insulation, lighting, doors and windows, replacement of energy efficient equipment, or cooling or refrigeration units.

Agricultural producers can use the funds to install energy efficient equipment and systems for use on their farm.

Funds available include:

Loan guarantees on loans up to 75 percent of total eligible project costs, grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, and combined grant and loan guarantees funding for up to 75 percent of the total eligible project costs.

Those interested in the loan guarantee can find the guarantee percentage in the Federal Register at the following link

Applications are accepted year-round at the USDA Rural Development office. For Ogle County the office is located on Pines Road, in Oregon.

Anyone interested in the REAP program that has questions or needs assistance can contact:

Callie Heidbreder, USDA Rural Development; 2118 West Park Court, Suite A; Champaign, IL 61821; 217-403-6217;; or visit

USDA accepts funding proposals year-round and hold quarterly competitions through Sept. 30, to select projects for funding. For information on application deadlines and submission details go to visit

The REAP program helps increase American energy independence by increasing private sector supply of renewable energy, and decreasing the demand for energy through efficiency improvements. Over time these improvements will lower energy costs for small rural businesses and agricultural producers.

ComEd also offers assistance in conducting facility assessments to help you understand what energy efficiencies may work in your business or farm operation. To get assistance for a free facility assessment go to or call 1-855-433-2700.

“I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired wrong somewhere along the way.” -Elvis Presley

Ron Kern is the manager of the Ogle County Farm Bureau.