Buckingham Grants™ Writes Grants for the USDA -Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

At Buckingham Grants™ our objective is to help customers maximize the benefits of the REAP Program energy grants. Defy the limits and be empowered to change the world.

What do the REAP Programs do?

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 may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing. This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy for small businesses and agricultural producers.

Who may apply for REAP Grants and Loan Guarantees Programs?

Agricultural Producers­ – An entity directly engaged in production of agricultural products where at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations. And;

Rural Small businesses­ – Must be in eligible rural areas and one of the following: Private for-profit entity (sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation)

Click Here to see if you are in a eligible rural area.  Buckingham Confab™ LLC – Grant Writers team can do tis for you too.

In what States is this program available?

In any of the 50 states in the United States in eligible rural areas. See Details

Who may qualify for loan guarantees?

What are the borrowing restrictions for loan guarantees?

Individual borrowers must be citizens of the United States or reside in the U.S. after being legally admitted for permanent residence.

Private-entity borrowers must demonstrate that loan funds will remain in the U.S.

What is an eligible area?

Projects must be in rural areas with populations of 50,000 residents or less*. To check if you are in eligible rural areas, Click Here to view the map and then enter your address to see if you are in an eligible area. We can do this for you, just Contact Us.

*Agricultural producers may submit projects to be located in non-rural areas as long as the project is associated with an on-site production operation.

How may the funds be used?

Funds may be used for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels).
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use.
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts.
  • Hydrogen.
  • Small and large wind generation.
  • Small and large solar generation.
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
  • Insulation.
  • Lighting.
  • Cooling or refrigeration units.
  • Doors and windows.
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.
  • Energy Efficiency Improvement applications must contain an Energy Audit, or Energy Assessment (depending on Total Project Costs) that complies with USDA regulations and instructions.

Agricultural producers may also use guaranteed loan funds to install energy efficient equipment and systems for agricultural production or processing. You can view the details about the USDA Loan guarantees by Clicking Here.

What are the grant terms?

Renewable Energy System Grants:

$2,500 minimum.

$1 million maximum. Sometimes limited to $750,000.

Energy Efficiency Grants:

$1,500 minimum.

$500,000 maximum.

Are there additional requirements?

Applicants must provide matching funds if applying for a grant only. There are a few options when acquiring matching funds.  

50% Federal grant share limited to projects that meet one of the following:

Project is a Renewable Energy System (RES), or RES retrofit that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions (Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, or Fluorinated Gases) at the project level.

If your Project is located in an Energy Community as defined in 26 USC 45(b)(11)(B) and determined by the Department of the Treasury. All this is within the process and scope of Writing the Grant.

Project is an Energy Efficiency Improvement (EEI). 

  • Is a project proposed from an eligible Tribal Corporation or other Tribal Business entity (including agriculture operations) as described in 7 CFR part 4280.
  • All other projects are limited to 25% Federal grant share
  • Applicants must provide at least 25 percent of the project cost if applying for loan.
  • All projects must have technical merit and utilize commercially available technology.
  • Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment.
  • All projects require an environmental review prior to award or construction.

Who can answer questions? Contact Buckingham Confab LLC and/or your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator. We strongly recommend both.

What law governs this program?

Grants – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR Part 4280 — Loans and Grants

Guaranteed Loans – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 5001.

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy for small businesses and agricultural producers.

What may make your Project ineligible for the USDA REAP Programs See the actual Code.

  • Research and development projects and projects that involve technology that is not commercially available;
  • Business operations that derive more than 10 percent of annual gross revenue from gambling activity. Gambling activities include any lease income from space or machines used for gambling activities. State or Tribal-authorized lottery proceeds, as approved by the Agency, conducted for the purpose of raising funds for the approved project are excluded;
  • Business operations deriving income from activities of a sexual nature or illegal activities;
  • Residential RES or EEI projects, including farm labor housing, apartment complexes, and owner-occupied bed and breakfasts, except for-profit nursing homes and assisted living facilities that provide full-time medical care for residents, and for-profit hotels that provide short-term housing;
  • Racetracks or facilities for conducting either professional or amateur races of animals, or by professional or amateur drivers or jockeys, or any other type of racing;
  • RES projects that co-fire with fossil fuels, natural gas or petroleum-based products or materials such as coal and other non-renewable fuels, oils, and chemicals, and tires or plastic;
  • Projects where 50 percent or more of the costs are ineligible or where project costs as defined in the application do not meet the definition of a renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement, including projects submitted for labor costs only. Project costs associated with an EEI that are not clearly identified in the energy assessment or audit will be considered ineligible costs; and
  • Projects proposing two or more different types of RES technologies that are not incorporated into a unified system and projects proposing two or more different types of RES technologies at two or more locations.

Ineligible project costs for RES and EEI projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs for agricultural tillage equipment, used equipment, and vehicles;
  • Construction or equipment costs that would be incurred regardless of the installation of a RES or EEI.
  • Lease payments, including lease to own or capitalized leases;
  • Any project cost that creates a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict of interest as provided in § 4280.106;
  • Funds used for political or lobbying activities; and
  • Funds used to pay off any Federal direct or guaranteed loans or other Federal debts.

“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that ultimately do.”

Disclaimer: This information comes from the third-party USDA Rural Development – REAP Programs website and could be updated or changed without notice. Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program regulations. Buckingham Confab LLC (BKMGrants.com) website have condensed some of this information for conversational purposes only. Please note the links within to get full access to complete and detailed information at USDA Programs. Buckingham Grants™ does not warrant that the third-party information on our website is complete or up to date and is strictly meant to start and facilitate our communication with you, the User.

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