Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

What does this funding get me?

This fund allows for loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs as well as grants for up to 50% of total eligible project costs and combined grant and loan guarantee funding for up to 75% of total eligible project costs.

Renewable energy grants are from $2,500 to $1 million, while energy efficiency grants are from $1,500 to $500,000.

Funds may be used for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation

Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Cooling or refrigeration units
  • Doors and windows
  • Electric, solar, or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots
  • Switching from a diesel to an electric irrigation motor
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment

Energy efficiency improvement applications must include an energy audit or energy assessment (depending on total project cost).

Agricultural producers may also use guaranteed loan funds to install energy-efficient equipment and systems for agricultural production or processing.

Am I eligible?

Agricultural producers: An entity directly engaged in the production of agricultural products with at least 50 percent of gross income coming from agricultural operations.

Small businesses: Must meet the Small Business Administration size standards in accordance with 13 CFR 121, be located in an eligible rural area, and be one of the following:

  • Private for-profit entity (sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation)
  • Cooperative, including those qualified under Section 501(c)(12) of IRS Code
  • Electric utility (including a Tribal or governmental electric utility) that provides service to rural consumers and operates independently of direct government control
  • Tribal corporations or other Tribal business entities that are chartered under Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act (25 USC 477) or have similar structures and relationships with their Tribal entity without regard to the resources of the Tribal government.

How can I access the money?

For information on the necessary forms required to apply for funds for your projects, visit the USDA’s REAP web pages for North Carolina and South Carolina. We also suggest reaching out to your Rural Energy Coordinators before attempting to fill out any forms or applications.

What is the timeline?

The program is currently open for Fiscal Year 2024, with application deadlines on June 30 and September 30, 2024. After that, the funding will continue, but the 50% grants will be reduced to the pre-IRA level of 25% unless additional funding is allocated.

What other incentives could I use to help me accomplish my goals?

If you are installing solar or certain other clean energy technologies, REAP funding can be used in conjunction with the 30% clean electricity investment tax credit for businesses or tax-exempt entities, and businesses may also get a tax deduction on the depreciation of the equipment.

Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for additional incentives that may be offered by your state, local government, or utility, as well as important federal, state, and local policies. For questions regarding DSIRE, contact Justin Lindemann (NC Clean Energy Technology Center) at jplindem@ncsu.edu.

Where can I get more information?