USDA solar grants are available for rural businesses and farms

Published September 25, 2016

usda-rd-logo - Solar power in Rural areas. Solar installations in rural areas. Solar Farms

If you own a small rural business or if you own a farm, you are probably eligible for a USDA Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) grant. The grant covers up to 25% of the cost of going solar!

  • Deadlines for Grants of $20,000 or less: October 31, 2016
  • Deadline for Unrestricted Grants (up to $500,000): March 31, 2017

Eligible applicants can apply as either a small rural business or agricultural producer.

Small Rural Business: Rural means your city or town has a population under 50,000 people (defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census using the latest decennial census of the United States) and is not contiguous or adjacent to an urbanized area (must be outside metropolitan area). “Small business” depends on your business type, though the limits are fairly high and most businesses qualify as small.  You can view these SBA guidelines to determine your size: 

Or Agricultural Producer: You can qualify as an agricultural producer if you earn at least 50% of your income from farming.

Again, you can apply as either a small rural business or as an ag producer.

And don’t sweat the grant paperwork. LightWave Solar makes the application process simple. Since 2009, we have helped over 70 business owners and farmers get a USDA grant to help pay for their solar systems (some of them even twice). Our grant application approval rate is 97%!

One such customer is Elam Farm in Morrison, Tennessee, a cattle farm 75 miles from Nashville. We installed two systems for David Elam one year ago, and we recently checked in with him to see how his solar has been working. Turns out each system, 12.5kW on the barn (grant eligible), and 10kW on his home, generated 5% more than we estimated. Elam’s solar systems have reduced his annual electric costs by about 90%!

We will help determine your eligibility and provide a free preliminary estimate. Once you decide you want to build a project, we will assemble your application! The next round of applications are due October 31, 2016.  Let’s get started today.

LightWave Solar at Elam Farms
LightWave Solar completed this 12kW system for Elam Farms in Morrison, TN. They received a USDA grant.