REAP Feasibility Study Funding Available

The USDA has now released this year’s funding notice for feasibility studies under REAP – the Rural Energy for America Program. Feasibility studies evaluate the likelihood of renewable project success in consideration of technical, financial, management and other factors. USDA requires feasibility studies for project funding under REAP where project costs exceed $200,000.

Harvest the windsEligible recipients for the funding are limited to agricultural producers and rural small businesses – not consulting firms. The total funding level for any feasibility award is still limited to $50,000, or 25% of total project cost. Unfortunately,  state funding is not allowed to be counted as non-federal cost share.

As with REAP generally, the feasibility studies apply to a wide range of technologies including geothermal, wind, solar, numerous biomass technologies, small hydroelectric, marine, and biofuels.

The deadline for applications is October 5, 2010 and they must be submitted to the state USDA Rural Development office. You can find your state’s USDA Energy coordinator here. Applicants should contact the USDA Energy Coordinator very early to get the guidance you need. As with any grant application, it is very important to read and follow the Notice of Available Funding (PDF format).

ELPC successfully worked to include feasibility studies in the 2008 Farm Bill as a separate activity from REAP construction grants.