USDA News Release
Attention Molokai farmers and ranchers! USDA Rural Development is taking applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for businesses looking to create renewable energy or energy-saving improvements. Business owners can receive financing to cover up to 75 percent of their energy efficiency projects.
Projects must be located in a rural area, which is all of Hawaii and the Western Pacific except the Honolulu Census Designated Place (CDP). REAP grants and guarantees may be used individually or in combination. Together they may finance up to 75% of a project’s cost. Grants can finance up to 25% of project cost, not to exceed $500,000 for a renewable energy system, and not to exceed $250,000 for an energy efficiency project. An applicant can even apply for both types of projects, obtaining a maximum grant of up to $750,000. Non-profits, units of government, and residential properties are not eligible.
Energy efficiency improvement projects can be in addition to a renewable system and include things such as refitting existing processing operations, replacing lighting/refrigeration/electric motors with more efficient equipment, and even build a more energy efficient facility. The program can be used to purchase and install renewable energy systems: solar, bioenergy (biomass, biogass), geothermal, wind, hydropower, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), and hydrogen.
Details are at www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/index.html. If you need additional information on the program, please contact Timothy W. O’Connell, Rural Energy Coordinator, in Hilo at 808-933-8313, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Denise Oda, Business Programs Specialist, also in Hilo at 808-933-8323 or via e-mail at email@example.com.