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Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative (RESSI)

Enabling rural communities to increase their energy self-sufficiency

Program Summary
Authorized under section 9009 of the 2008 Farm Bill, the Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative establishes a new program to enable rural communities to increase their energy self-sufficiency. This grant program may be used to conduct community energy assessments, develop and analyze methods for reducing energy use from conventional sources, and develop and install integrated renewable energy systems. Integrated renewable energy systems are defined as community-wide systems that reduce conventional energy use and incorporate renewable energy use. Visit the program website listed below for updates.

Project Examples
As of this printing, the agency has not developed guidelines to implement the program. Thus, it has not disbursed funds for any projects. Program funding is expected to be available in FY 2010.

Application and Financial Information
Authorized appropriations are $5 million annually for FY 2009-12.

Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictions
The highest priority will be given to institutions of higher education or nonprofit foundations of institutions of higher education, Federal, State, or local government agencies, public or private power generation entities, or government entities with responsibility for water or natural resources. Federal cost-share for any grant is limited to 50% of project cost.


Contact Information
USDA Rural Development
Business Programs, Energy Branch
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Mail Stop 3225
Washington, DC 20250

The principle contact is:
Anthony (Tony) Ashby

Last Updated November 4, 2009

Please note: Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities is also available for download in PDF format.

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