02 Jun What information can you give me about applying for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program?
E.H.MarylandAnswer: The website http://farmenergy.org/ has very good information on the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. It is often called the Section 9006 Program and has been renamed the Renewable Energy Assistance Program (REAP) in the new Farm Bill.Also very helpful is the state of Iowa’s website for this program: www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia/rbcs_RE-EE_Section_9006.htmlThe main USDA website is www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/. ATTRA’s Farm Bill Section 9006 informational paper (PDF/67KB) includes links to:-A simplified grant application template (for projects < $200,000).-A full grant application template (for projects >$200,000).-The technical worksheets -Technical report guidelines for both small and large solar projects (including solar water-heating)NOTE:To be eligible as an agricultural producer, you must be directly engaged in agricultural production and derive at least 50% of your gross income from agricultural operations.To be eligible as a rural small business, you must meet the size standards at www.sba.gov/size/index.html.Loan guarantees are also available for up to 50% of eligible project costs. You can apply for both a grant and a loan.The full application process (projects >$200,000) is MUCH more complicated, and requires a feasibility study.