One hundred rural small businesses and farmers in Minnesota received $2.3 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in 2013. REAP provided financial assistance for a range of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, including grants to help fund new grain dryers, energy efficient building and equipment improvements, solar and wind energy systems, ground source heat pumps, and more.
REAP funding provided a 25 percent cost-share grant for a range of projects, with an average grant per project of $23,350. The total amount of energy saved and generated from the 100 projects equals the annual electric usage of about 1,200 residents. The total number of projects and total dollars awarded represent the second highest in the nation and reflect Minnesota’s continued success in securing REAP funds.
Although REAP funding for 2014 has not been determined, Minnesota’s USDA Rural Development office says applications for 2014 funding can be accepted anytime, so it encourages interested parties to start the process. Read more on REAP, the application process, and a list of 2013 recipients.