Farm Energy for America
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is a cornerstone of the Farm Bill’s Energy Title. REAP is successfully helping farmers and other innovators in rural communities across the country to pioneer the next generation of American energy.
Many Projects, Strong Demand
Since its inception in 2003, REAP (first known as the “Section 9006” program) has helped thousands of farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses tap into the clean energy resources on their lands and cut energy waste in their operations.
REAP is extremely successful with over 3,000 project awards in all states. Even with more funding added in the 2008 Farm Bill, demand for REAP support continues to outpace resources.
REAP’s renewable energy technologies span the clean energy spectrum: wind and solar power, geothermal, manure digesters, small hydroelectric power, biomass for heat and power, and even geothermal heating.
REAP also funds many different energy efficiency upgrades, helping farmers and businesses cut energy costs, improve efficiencies and increase their revenue.
Improvements in 2008 Farm Bill
In 2008, Congress improved REAP in several major ways:
- Energy Technical Assistance funding – for organizations to carry out energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.
- Feasibility Study funding – to help new projects assess the viability of new projects and improve program effectiveness.
- Larger Loan Guarantees – increases limit from $10 million to $25 million per project.
To help pay for these enhancements and meet thehigh demand for REAP resources, Congress increased mandatory funding to $255 million over four years (more than double the 2002 Farm Bill level). Congress also can add additional money through annual appropriations – for example, for fiscal year 2010, Congress pumped more than $39 million in additional discretionary funding into REAP.