Funding is available for energy projects at Maine's rural small businesses and agricultural producers through the USDA Rural Development agency's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). At stake is about $200 million in guaranteed loan funds available to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in fiscal year 2016.
Since 2008, the USDA REAP program has provided grants and loan guarantees for renewable and energy efficiency projects at qualifying rural small businesses and agricultural producers. Its loan program helps finance renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Typical projects awarded funding in previous rounds include biomass fueled anaerobic digesters and biodiesel production, solar, wind,
geothermal, efficient lighting conversions, motor upgrades, building envelope and HVAC
REAP describes its loan guarantee program as lender-driven. Usually, a qualifying farm or business will approach a lender to discuss financing a proposed project. That lender then requests the USDA
Rural Development loan guarantee, and if approved, makes and services the
loan. Guaranteed loan amounts can range from $5,000 to $25 million. The guaranteed loan amount can cover up to 75% of the total eligible
project cost, while 25% of project costs must come from
other sources like business equity or other borrowed funds.
USDA Rural Development provides more information on its website about how
to apply for a USDA REAP loan guarantee. The Preti Flaherty team helps our clients understand how to benefit from
REAP funding and other incentive programs for renewable energy and
energy efficiency. Contact Todd Griset to learn more.