USDA Rural Development Announces Solar Grant Deadline

Published May 20, 2011

In a press release issued recently, Will Dodson, State Energy Programs Coordinator for USDA Rural Development, announced the long anticipated 2011 funding deadline of June 15 and encouraged more applications, saying the sooner the better. Furthermore, he emphasized that the funding allocation for smaller projects (grants $20,000 and under) provides an excellent opportunity to fund renewable energy or energy efficiency project as this funding is not very competitive.

“Currently, we have few applications requesting $20,000 or less in REAP Grant assistance,” he said last week. “If you or someone you know can take advantage of this funding I encourage you to do so.”

The 2011 REAP grant allocation for grant requests over $20,000 is $767,563, and for grant requests of $20,000 or less, it is $461,018. There is also $1,592,000 in REAP Guaranteed Loan funding, which helps businesses obtain loans more easily.

The 2011 funding also marks changes from past years’ guidelines, including the removal of the 51 percent US-owned applicant requirement for entities; removal of the requirement for demonstration of financial need; and allowing agricultural producers in non-rural areas to apply.

If you are interested in a solar PV system for your business, please contact LightWave Solar to determine your eligibility. LightWave Solar will provide all required technical data, as well as assemble the entire grant application. USDA also offers access to Program Specialists who cover areas by the county in which the project is located. The USDA Area Office information can be accessed at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn/tn-contacts.html.