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Deadline to Submit Applications for USDA Rural Development Energy Programs Is June 30

Agricultural producers and small businesses interested in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development energy efficiency and renewable energy programs have until 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 30, to submit their applications to the state office for fiscal year 2010 funding. USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and guarantees loans to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. The projects must be located in a rural area other than a city of greater than 50,000 in population and its adjacent urbanized area. Agricultural producers include an individual or entity directly engaged in the production of agricultural products that obtains at least 50 percent of their gross income from the agriculture business. A rural small business is defined as an entity in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and includes a private entity, partnerships, corporations, cooperatives and electric utility cooperatives supplying service to rural consumers.

Eligible projects include constructing and installing renewable energy systems such as wind turbines, solar, geothermal, biomass, anaerobic digesters, hydroelectric and ocean or hydrogen systems. Funding may also be used to purchase energy-efficient equipment, add insulation, or improve heating and cooling systems. For a renewable energy project exceeding $200,000, a feasibility study must first be conducted and submitted to USDA. Energy efficiency programs require an energy audit or assessment, depending on the total eligible project costs. Once the evaluation is complete and submitted to USDA, it is reviewed to determine if the project has merit. If approved, applicants will be notified by U.S. mail and instructed to complete an application for project funding for the next fiscal year.
Send applications to USDA Rural Development, 4440 N.W. 25th Place, Gainesville, FL 32606. Applications received in the state office after 4:30 p.m. EST on June 30, 2010, regardless of the application’s postmark, will not be considered for funding in FY 2010. For information about the USDA Rural Development energy programs or how to apply, visit the following Web site:
rurdev.usda.gov/ia/rbcs_RE-EE_Section_9006.html. To determine if a proposed project is in a rural area, visit eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov and click on Business Programs under Property Eligibility. Applicants with questions should call 352-338-3482.
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