top of page

USDA Feasibility Study for Renewable Energy Loan and Grant Program

USDA Feasibility Study for Renewable Energy

The USDA Renewable Energy Loan and Grant Program is a significant initiative designed to support farmers, ranchers, and small businesses in adopting renewable energy systems and enhancing the efficiency of existing energy systems. Reauthorized in the 2008 farm bill and renamed the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), this program is pivotal in promoting sustainable energy practices in rural America. Loan Analytics, a leader in feasibility studies, is instrumental in conducting USDA feasibility studies for this program, ensuring the viability and success of applicants' projects.

Overview of the Renewable Energy Loan and Grant Program (REAP)

Purpose and Structure: The Renewable Energy Loan and Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and upgrade renewable energy systems or improve energy efficiency. The program supports the transition to sustainable energy solutions, reducing operational costs and environmental impact.

Statutory Authority: The program was initially authorized under Section 9006 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171) and reauthorized as REAP (Section 9007) in the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246).

Financing and Eligibility

Financing: The program offers both loans and grants. These financial tools help offset the costs associated with renewable energy projects and energy efficiency improvements, making them more accessible to farmers, ranchers, and small businesses.

Eligibility Criteria: The primary eligibility requirement is that applicants must be agricultural producers or rural small businesses.

Funding Levels

The funding levels for the program have varied over the years:

FY2003-FY2007: Authorized for $23.0 million in mandatory funds per fiscal year. However, appropriators prohibited the expenditure of these mandatory funds in FY2005 and FY2006, providing $23.0 million in discretionary funding instead.

FY2007: The Administration requested $10.2 million in discretionary funding, and $22.8 million was provided.

FY2008: $35.7 million was appropriated for loan subsidies and grants.

FY2009-FY2012: Authorized $255 million in mandatory spending and $35 million annually in discretionary funding.

The Role of USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS)

The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) administers the REAP program, continuing its long-standing mission to enhance economic opportunities and improve the quality of life in rural America. By providing financial support for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, the RBS helps rural communities adopt sustainable practices that reduce energy costs and environmental impacts.

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

In addition to REAP, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) supports microenterprise development in rural areas. RMAP provides grants to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs) and approved microlenders to help rural microenterprises, typically those with ten or fewer employees.

Statutory Authority: The program operates under Title VI, Subtitle D, Section 6022 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246).

Financing: RMAP offers fixed-interest direct loans and grants. The maximum loan amount to a microlender is $500,000, and the maximum grant to an MDO is no more than 25% of the total outstanding balance of microloans made by the MDO.

Eligibility Criteria: Funds are provided to MDOs and approved microlenders, who use the funding to capitalize rural revolving loan funds for making microloans to microenterprise borrowers.

Funding: The program authorized mandatory funding of $4 million for FY2010-FY2011 and $3 million for FY2012, with discretionary funding of $40 million annually from FY2009 to FY2012. For FY2010, $5 million was provided, divided evenly between loan subsidies and grants.

The Role of Loan Analytics

Loan Analytics is essential in conducting USDA feasibility studies for the Renewable Energy Loan and Grant Program. Their expertise ensures that applicants can navigate the application process, secure necessary funding, and implement successful projects. By providing in-depth analyses and insights, Loan Analytics helps verify the feasibility and sustainability of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, aligning them with USDA goals.

Through their work, Loan Analytics supports the USDA’s mission to promote sustainable energy practices and improve energy efficiency in rural communities. By facilitating the adoption of renewable energy systems, Loan Analytics helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce their energy costs, enhance their operations, and contribute to a more sustainable future.


bottom of page