USDA Rural Development REAP Program

USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) administers grants, guaranteed loans, and combination grant/guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Originally established in Section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill, the program was re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. If a farm operation does not meet the program definition of an agricultural producer, it may apply as a rural small business, provided that it meets the applicable SBA standard.

Successful USDA REAP Project Video from USDA Rural Development


Who is eligible?

  • Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations.
  • Small businesses in eligible rural areas.

NOTE: Agricultural producers and small businesses must have NO outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment.

See if you are located in a rural eligible location.

Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

How much are the grants?

The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and can be up to 50% of total eligible project costs. Grants are limited to a max of $1 milion for renewable energy systems and $500,000 max for energy efficiency improvements (New FY 2023). Grant requests min is $2,500 for renewable energy systems and $1,500 for energy efficiency improvements.

What types of projects are eligible?

Most rural projects that reduce energy use and result in savings for the agricultural producer or small business are eligible as energy efficiency projects. These include projects such as retrofitting lighting or insulation or purchasing or replacing equipment with more efficiency units. Eligible renewable energy projects include projects that produce energy from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro power and hydrogen-based sources. The projects can produce any form of energy including, heat, electricity, or fuel.

For all projects, the system must be located in a rural area if applying as a small business, must be technically feasible, must meet environmental requirements, and must be owned by the applicant. For Renewable Energy Projects no residential use can benefit from the system, business only.

Funds may be used for 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

REAP Guaranteed Loan Program

For more information about the REAP Guaranteed Loan Program please contact:

Jacob Charette, Energy Coordinator
Rural Development - MA/CT/RI
United States Department of Agriculture
Phone: 413-253-4305

REAP Summary

How much assistance can be provided?

  • Grant: for up to 50% of total eligible project costs
  • Guaranteed Loan: up to 75% of total eligible project costs
  • Combination grant and guaranteed loan: funding up to 75% of total eligible costs

Minimum grant amounts:

  • Renewable Energy projects: $2,500
  • Energy Efficiency projects: $1,500

Maximum grant amounts:

  • Renewable Energy projects: $1,000,000
  • Energy Efficiency projects: $500,000

What is the maximum amount of a loan guarantee?
The loan guarantee percentage is published annually in a Federal Register notice.

Are there additional requirements?

  • Applicants must provide matching funds if applying for a grant only.
    • 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.
      • Project is located in an Energy Community as defined in 26 USC 45(b)(11)(B) and determined by the Department of the Treasury.
      • 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.

You can find application forms available on the USDA Rural Development REAP Page.

Open for Fiscal Years 2023 & 2024 Application Deadlines: June 30, 2023 September 30, 2023 December 31, 2023 March 31, 2024 June 30, 2024 September 30, 2024

How to Apply

To apply for a REAP grant, please contact your local Rural Development Office, or contact the Connecticut Farm Energy Office at (860) 345-3977.
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