January 10, 2023

2 Min Read
Deadline Approaches for REAP Energy Grants, Loans for Self-Storage Operators in Rural Areas

The deadline to apply for a 2023 guaranteed loan or grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is March 31. The program is open to self-storage operators and other small-business owners in rural areas who are looking to install renewable-energy systems or make energy-efficiency improvements. Grants cover up to 40% of eligible project costs, while loans are available for up to 75%, according to the USDA website.

Renewable-energy grants range from $2,500 to $1 million, while energy-efficiency grants are available in amounts of $1,500 to $500,000. Applicants must provide at least 60% of the project cost if applying for only a grant or 25% if applying for a loan. All projects must have “technical merit” and use commercially available technology. An energy audit or assessment is required for all energy-efficiency projects, according to the USDA.

REAP loan amounts vary, with interest rates negotiated between the lender and borrower. Loans approved for fiscal 2023 will receive an 80% guarantee, with terms not to exceed 40 years.

Renewable-energy funds can be used for several systems including solar and wind generation as well as biomass geothermal, hydrogen and hydropower below 30 megawatts. Funds may also be used to purchase or install improvements including high-efficiency doors, windows, HVAC systems, insulation and lighting.

Eligible businesses must be in rural areas with 50,000 residents or less. The USDA has a map on its website in which interested applicants can check their eligibility by address.

With about $2 billion of REAP funding available and the renewable-energy Federal Investment Tax Credit having increased to cover 30% of project costs, the volume of applications is expected to be high this year, according to a press release issued by Lightshed LLC, which specializes in grant writing and feasibility studies for solar photovoltaic systems and LED-lighting upgrades.

The application period for 2023 grants and loans began on Oct. 31.

USDA Rural Development, Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants
Lightshed, USDA-REAP Funding

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