USDA workshop to help with grant applications

USDA Rural Development will hold a workshop June 12 to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers apply for the federal Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funds.

The workshop will be conducted via video teleconference from 9-11:30 a.m. at Cooperative Extension offices in Carson City, Ely, Eureka, Yerington, Caliente and at the Logandale Office. USDA Rural Energy Coordinator Mark Williams will lead the training from the Carson City location to help applicants understanding the REAP application process.

Projects that are eligible for REAP grants include installing renewable energy systems such as solar, wind turbines, geothermal, biomass, anaerobic digesters, hydroelectric or hydrogen systems.  Funding may also be used to purchase energy-efficient equipment, add insulation, and improve heating and cooling systems. The grant can cover up to 25 percent of total project costs.

Business Programs Coordinator Herb Shedd pointed out that the REAP program is available statewide, but to date, few southern Nevada applications have come in. “We encourage everyone, but especially southern Nevada ag producers and small rural businesses to apply for these funds,” Shedd said. “The Energy Efficiency Improvements program can pay 25 percent of the cost to replace an HVAC system, which will help businesses with energy efficiency, and improve their bottom line.”

Applications for REAP are accepted year-round. The deadline to apply for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants and combination loan/grants is July 7, 2014. For 2014 in Nevada, an estimated $151,000 is available. In addition, guaranteed loan applications are accepted on a continuous basis; for this cycle they will be accepted up to July 31, 2014.

Applications can be submitted online through grants.gov, or turned in by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline listed above to the USDA Rural Development State Office, 1390 S. Curry St., Carson City, NV 89703. For more information contact Energy Coordinator Mark Williams, at (775) 887-1222, Ext. 116.

 

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