U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on August 7 announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). A total of 99 of the 264 projects (38%) receiving funding are from Iowa.
“This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities,” Vilsack said. “Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects supports homegrown energy sources, creates jobs, reduces greenhouse gas pollution and helps usher in a more secure energy future for the nation.”
These REAP projects for Iowa are expected to generate and/or save 207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy -- enough to power more than 13,600 homes for a year.
Receiving REAP funding in Iowa include such businesses as:
•Farmers Saving Bank in Wever is using a $16,062 REAP grant to help purchase and install solar array panels.
•B&A Mallory Corporation in Stuart is using a $15,873 REAP grant to help purchase and install six refrigeration units and a six-horsepower compressor for a locally owned grocery store.
•Riley Industrial Painting Inc. in Burlington is using a $5,995 REAP grant to replace current lighting fixtures with LED fixtures that use less energy.
•Duwa’s Auction Service LLC in Wellman is using a $13,280 REAP grant to help purchase and install solar array panels.
Funding for the projects announced last week is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant or loan agreement.
Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.
Next application deadline for REAP grants is Nov. 2
The next application deadline for REAP grants is November 2, 2015. USDA will issue a notice of available funding with more details on how to apply in the coming weeks. REAP was created by the 2008 Farm Bill and was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA has supported more than 9,600 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide through REAP. During this period, USDA has provided more than $291 million in grants and $327 million in loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small business owners.
USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families. The agency can help rural communities and regions grow and prosper by offering a variety of financial and technical assistance programs encouraging the development of strong community and economic development strategies.
Contact USDA Rural Development for more information
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 50 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, call 515-284-4663 or visit the website rd.usda.gov/ia. USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mt. Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.