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  • Melissa Deaver

USDA REAP Grants and Loans - What to Know

There are many government funded opportunities to save on your solar array. Most people are familiar with the Federal Tax Credit, available to anyone (homeowner or business) installing a new array. Did you know there are also grants available to specific borrowers? The USDA has one grant that can pay for up to 50% of the total cost on your array! Here are the details of the grant.

What This Program Does

  • This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

  • Agricultural producers can also apply for new energy-efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Rural small businesses and agricultural producers are eligible for the grant (there's a lot of us in Iowa!). USDA Rural development programs are included in the OneRD Guarantee Loan initiative. Click here for more information on this loan opportunity.

  • Individual borrowers must be US citizens

  • Private-entity borrowers must show that loan funds will be

  • Businesses must be located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 or fewer. Eligible business addresses can be verified here.

  • Agricultural producers can be in rural or nonrural areas.

How Can the Funds be Used?

  • Funds can be used for renewable energy systems such as:

  • Biomass

  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use

  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts

  • Hydrogen

  • Small and large wind generation

  • Small and large solar generation

  • Ocean generation

  • They can also be used for energy efficiency programs like:

  • High-efficiency HVAC systems

  • Insulation

  • Lighting

  • Cooling or refrigeration units

  • Doors and windows

  • Electric, solar, or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots

  • Switching from diesel to electric irrigation motor

  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment

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

What Types of Funding are Available?

  • Loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total eligible project costs

  • Grants for up to 50% of total eligible project costs

  • Combine grant and loan guarantee funding up to 75% of total eligible project costs


Applications are accepted year-round in your local USDA Rural Development office. Click here to find a list of state offices.


Reach out to your state-based USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator. Click here to find a list.

For more in-depth information about this program in Iowa click here.

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