USDA Issues 2010 REAP Funding Notice

(April 26, 2010) Today, the USDA issued the Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The announcement can be downloaded here (PDF) and focuses on grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements. Two more notices are expected in the following days for energy technical assistance and for feasibility studies.Repowering for climate security

A total of $87 million is available for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements, leaving $9.9 million for energy technical assistance and $2.4 million for feasibility studies. Key: The deadline for applications to be submitted to state rural development offices is June 30, 2010.

Following are some key changes in this year’s notice:

  • No mention of loan guarantee preference. In previous years the USDA placed a high preference on loan guarantees, effectively requiring them as a condition for preferential scoring of the grant applications. We see no mention of this and will seek and publish clarification soon.
  • No extra points for smaller projects. Last year for the first time the USDA awarded 10 extra points for applications for grants of $20,000 or less, in response to Congressional support for these projects. The NOSA removes the extra points, since the REAP statute already creates a funding pool for these projects. No other changes for point scoring are found. (Clarification: Small projects already received points under the previously existing permanent rules).
  • No repair for the rural restriction. Previously, the USDA has not allowed agricultural producers in non-rural areas to be eligible. We had understood that the USDA was committed to ending this restriction. It does not appear to be fixed in this NOSA.
  • Clarification for eligibility and technical reporting for small hydropower.