Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.
Who may apply?
- Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and
- Small businesses in eligible rural areas.
NOTE: Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgment or debarment.
What is an eligible area?
- Businesses must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible business addresses.
- Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.
How may the funds be used?
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
- 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)
- 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
What funding is available?
Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs
Grants for up to 25% of total eligible project costs
Combined grant and loan guarantee funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs
What are the grant terms?
Renewable Energy System Grants:
$2,500 minimum; $500,000 maximum
Energy Efficiency Grants:
$1,500 minimum; $250,000 maximum
Are there additional requirements?
- Applicants must provide at least 75% of the project cost if applying for a grant only.
- Applicants must provide at least 25% of the project cost if applying for loan, or loan and grant combination.
- Projects greater than $200,000 require a technical report.
- Energy efficiency projects require an energy audit or assessment.