Owning land and/or a rural small business is a big responsibility.
And with big responsibilities, often come big costs—and big rewards.
That’s why we’re firm believers in solar for farms and rural small businesses. Not only are you saving yourself money by offsetting your energy costs, but you’re also contributing to a healthy environment, better sustainability, and a long-term legacy for you and your family.
There are tons of great benefits to agricultural solar, which we talked about in our last post, “Solar for Farmers: Is Agricultural Solar a Good Idea?”.
In today’s post, we’re taking a closer look at the REAP grants and loans provided by the USDA. Solar for farmers has never been more affordable!
What Are REAP Grants and Loans?
Before we dive into the details about USDA REAP grants and loans, let’s first talk about what they are. Then we’ll look at what the program does for farmers and rural small business owners, particularly when it comes to buying solar for their farms or business.
The program is called the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). It provides grants and guaranteed financing (backed by loans) for renewable energy systems (like agrivoltaics) and many energy-efficient improvements that you might make to your property.
REAP funds can be used for a variety of renewable energy systems, including:
These funds can also be applied to the purchase and installation of energy improvements, like energy efficient:
- HVAC systems
- Doors and windows
- And more
Who May Be Eligible for REAP Grants?
REAP provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Specifically, “agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations” and “small businesses in eligible rural areas”, per the REAP website.
Use these funds to purchase or install renewable energy systems or to make energy-efficient improvements to your operations. And, if you’re an agricultural producer, you may also be able to use REAP funds to replace energy-inefficient equipment and more.
Just know that, to qualify for a REAP grant or loan, you cannot have any outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debts, judgments, or debarments against you.
Why Does the USDA Offer REAP?
From their website, “This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy for small businesses and agricultural producers.”
Additional Resources and Information
More information on REAP grants and loans can be found here.
And don’t forget about the federal solar tax credit!
Also, check out our blog on the 5 Things Ag Customers Need to Know About Solar Panels. Then take a look at the Department of Energy’s Farmers Guide to Going Solar.
Solar Sam Helps You Go Green with Solar for Your Farm
At Solar Sam, you’re family. Let us help you with your rural or agricultural solar needs. We’ll take care of the rest using USA-made products with up to 25-year warranties! We’re a fast-growing, Midwest-based, local solar provider and professional solar installer.
Give us a call or go online to request a free quote. Solar Sam is proud to provide solar for farms. Also, we love helping to set your farm operation or rural small business up for generations of success with clean, green energy run by the sun!