USDA seeks applications for Rural Energy America program
The US Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.
So far in 2021, the agency has awarded $509,745 to 11 proponents in Puerto Rico, local USDA officials confirmed.
Funds are being made available under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and the USDA is seeking applications for Fiscal Year 2022 funding, said Luis R. García, USDA Rural Development acting director for Puerto Rico.
The deadlines to apply for grants are Oct. 31, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Applications for technical assistance grants are due Jan. 31, 2022.
An agency source confirmed that in recent years, most of the applications submitted in Puerto Rico have been approved.
Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible applicants for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems and to make energy efficiency improvements.
Projects do not necessarily need to be in farming. State and local governments, land-grant colleges or universities or other institutions of higher education, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, and resource conservation & development councils are eligible applicants for grants to conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.
Interested applicants are encouraged email Teremy Henriquez, State Energy Coordinator in Puerto Rico, ahead of the application deadlines to discuss their project and ask any questions about the REAP program or the application process, the agency advised.