Several Eastern Kentucky businesses recently received money for their renewable energy and energy efficiency projects from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Here are just a few of the recent applications we supported:
- Pantry Shelf Grocery in Perry County for $11,613
- Longview Estate in Garrard County for $13,389
- Red River Harvest Inn in Wolfe County for $2,500
- Red River Gorgeous in Powell County for $9,953
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. For REAP you have to own the building you are improving or have a long-term lease.
The amounts range from $2,500-$500,000 for renewable energy systems and from $1,500-$250,000 for energy efficiency grants.
Since 2015, the Mountain Association has worked with dozens more businesses to bring in more than $500,000 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.
Solar photovoltaic and efficiency upgrades are the most common REAP applications we help submit, but other eligible renewable systems include solar water heat & solar space heat, geothermal electric & solar thermal electric, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, high efficiency HVAC, and more (for specific details on what is eligible, please contact us).
Applying to REAP can be a complex and lengthy process, but a worthwhile one for the right project. 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. Note: prior to the Inflation Reduction Act being signed into law in August 2022, REAP only covered up to 25 percent of a total project cost, however, this has now shifted to 50 percent with the new provisions!
The Mountain Association can offer affordable financing options to eligible businesses and organizations which may cover any remaining portions.
The next deadlines are March 31, June 30, and September 30, 2024, with more deadlines to follow.
Please contact our energy team well in advance of the deadline if you would like to learn more about REAP and to discuss your building’s energy efficiency or renewable project: Carrie at email@example.com or 859-544-0023, or if you’re ready to get started fill out this short informational form: https://mtassociation.org/energy/apply-for-an-energy-audit/