Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Funding for:

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?

  • USDA web page on the REAP program and pages specifically for North Carolina and South Carolina
  • It’s recommended you contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator before beginning your application with any questions you may have. 
  • You can also contact Bill Tew at bill.tew@usda.gov or 919-895-3647
  • USDA energy investment map
  • Fact sheet
  • Watch a webinar about REAP
  • The NC Clean Energy Technology Center provides renewable energy assessment and related technical assistance to eligible facilities under REAP. Click here for more information.
  • You may be able to get technical assistance with this program from the EPA’s Region 4 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC), also called Resource for Assistance and Community Training in Region 4 on Environmental Justice (REACT4EJ), which provides technical assistance to residents, community organizations, and Federally recognized tribal nations in Region 4 states including North and South Carolina. REACT4EJ can assist in developing capabilities and identifying resources for understanding or resolving EJ circumstances. Visit REACT4EJ.org to learn more and connect with their team.
  • As you look at current federal funding opportunities and those anticipated in 2024, SSDN’s Local Infrastructure Hub (LIH) program has resources that may be able to help!  The LIH program supports local governments and community-based organizations that are working on cross-cutting projects at the intersection of addressing climate impacts and promoting racial wealth equity.  Learn more on the LIH website or through this one-pager.  The application for LIH support is a light lift and is linked HERE! Reach out to Nick Deffley if you have questions about eligibility or need guidance.
  • For specific questions on this program or for more assistance, contact Jessica Finkel at info@energyfundsforall.org.