USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for grants and loan guarantees for farmers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements or conduct feasibility studies.



The grants will be administered through the agency's Rural Energy for America program.



The maximum grant for renewable energy systems is 25 percent of eligible project costs and no more than $500,000. Energy efficiency improvement projects are eligible for as much as 25 percent of eligible project costs and no more than $250,000.



For both renewable energy and energy efficiency grants, applicants must be a farmer earning 51 percent or more of gross income from agricultural production or a small business, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Projects must be located in rural areas.



The maximum loan guarantee is 75 percent of eligible project costs and no more than $25 million. Combination loan guarantees and grants also are available, and feasibility studies also qualify for grants under the program.
The deadline for applications is July 31. Applications may be obtained by contacting USDA Rural Development, Business & Community Programs, at 573-876-0995.



The full Federal Register notice from May 26 is here.



SOURCE: USDA.