USDA: $400 million still available for biogas projects funding through REAP program

By | 2019-07-31

On July 18th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that more than $400 million is still available for renewable energy system and energy efficiency loan guarantees through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This program offers funding for the installation of renewable energy systems, including anaerobic digesters and biomass. It can also be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation, cooling systems and more.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses,” said Joel Baxley, acting assistant to the secretary for rural development. “USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is an important tool to help strengthen and grow the rural economy.”

To qualify for the REAP program, you must:

  • Be an agricultural producer
  • Have at least 50 percent of gross income coming from agricultural operations and to small businesses located in eligible areas.

REAP offers both grants and loan guarantees on loans up to 75 percent of total eligible costs, even when combined. USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. 

As an example of funded project, the USDA mentioned the Optima KV project in Magnolia, North Carolina. They received a $6.5 million loan guarantee for an anaerobic digester that will process hog waste. The project aggregates multiple biogas streams at a refinery. The resulting renewable natural gas (RNG) is transported via pipeline to a power plant to generate electricity. The USDA said the digester project produces additional revenue for hog farmers and creates a cleaner environment.

Read more about REAP program and how it provides project funding. If you are interested and more to know more about it, you can also contact your state USDA Rural Development office.


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