Business

Grants and Loans Offered for Renewable Energy and Upgrades

April 20, 2015, 1:52 PM HST
* Updated April 20, 1:53 PM
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering federal grants totaling $280 million for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) through the 2014 Farm Bill.

The program helps small businesses and farmers with the initial investments and improvements needed to upgrade to renewable energy resources.

The first deadline to apply for Fiscal Year 2015 funding is April 30.

Rural Development State Director Chris J. Kanazawa says developing renewable energy resources for farmers, ranchers, and business owners in Hawai‘i will make them more competitive in today’s marketplace.

“The more we reduce the dependency on fossil fuel and replace it with renewable energy resources, we become more reliant on self-generated energy, act as good stewards of our islands, and support President Obama’s clean energy initiative,” Kanazawa said.

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The grants pay up to 25% of the total cost for a renewable energy system or energy efficiency improvement, or guarantees a loan of up to 75% of the total cost.  Grant applications are accepted and reviewed year-round by the USDA.

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Eligible projects include wind, solar, ocean, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass, including anaerobic digesters.  Eligible energy efficiency improvements include lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, fans, automated controls and insulation upgrades that reduce energy use.

The maximum grant award per project is $500,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million.

For more information, contact (808) 933-8312, or e-mail [email protected].

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