The USDA will award up to $1 billion in grants to help farmers and rural small businesses install renewable energy systems or make energy-efficiency improvements to their property, announced Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The USDA will cover up to 50% of the cost of projects with a maximum grant of $1 million through the Rural Energy for America Program.
“Supporting renewable energy and energy-saving systems helps the people of rural America create thriving, livable communities,” said Vilsack in a statement on Friday.
The USDA opened the REAP application window on Saturday, with plans to hold quarterly competitions for funding through Sept. 30. Funding for the grants comes from the 2022 climate, health and tax law. The government said it was particularly interested in projects that would encourage rural economic growth, conserve farmland, mitigate climate change and aid underserved communities.