Several Eastern Kentucky businesses recently received money for their renewable energy projects from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
- Print My Threads was awarded a REAP grant of ~$20,000 for a solar installation on their facility near Ashland, KY as well as a second grant of ~$19,500 for energy efficiency upgrades
- Isom IGA was awarded ~$43,000 through two grants for a new roof, lighting and solar on their grocery store in Letcher County, KY
- Annie’s Frugal Finery was awarded ~$16,300 for solar on their consignment store in Whitesburg, KY
- Long’s Pic Pac in Bell County was awarded $58,000 for energy efficiency
- Trillium Ventures was awarded ~$18,000, which will support solar on the roof of a redeveloped building in downtown Corbin, KY
The USDA administers REAP to provide financial assistance to rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, and participate in energy audits.
The amounts range from $2,500-$500,000 for renewable energy systems and from $1,500-$250,000 for energy efficiency grants.
Some examples of eligible renewable systems include:
- Solar Photovoltaics
- Solar Water Heat & Solar Space Heat
- Misc: Geothermal Electric & Solar Thermal Electric, Wind (All), Biomass, Hydroelectric, Hydrogen, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Combined Heat & Power, Geothermal Direct-Use, Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbine
- Note: REAP funds no more than 25% of your total project cost. The Mountain Association has affordable financing options which may cover any remaining portions.
Since 2015, the Mountain Association has worked with more than a dozen businesses to receive nearly $300,000 in REAP funding for both energy efficiency and solar projects. In Kentucky, nearly all projects meeting REAP eligibility criteria have been successful in being awarded their funding.
It can be a complex and lengthy application process, but a worthwhile one for the right project. The next deadline is November 2, 2020. It may be important for your business or farm to start with an energy efficiency audit to determine if an application for funding would be best spent on energy efficiency upgrades or if you are ready for a renewable energy system.
Please contact our energy team if you would like to discuss your building’s energy efficiency or renewable project and/or the REAP process: Carrie at email@example.com or (859) 671-0240.
To learn more about REAP, please visit the USDA website here.