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Programs and Announcements

USDA supports the entire supply chain of renewable energy production, from feedstock research and development to the consumer, through programs in:

- Research and education
- Feedstock development and production
- Feedstock conversion and commercialization
- Renewable electricity production
- Energy efficiency and conservation
- Other USDA energy-related programs

USDA draws expertise from more than a dozen USDA agencies and offices, including:

- Agricultural Marketing Service
- Agricultural Research Service
- Departmental Management
- Economic Research Service
- Farm Service Agency
- Forest Service
- Foreign Agricultural Service
- National Agricultural Statistics Service
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture
- Office of the Chief Economist
- Rural Development, Rural Business and Cooperative Service
- Rural Development, Rural Housing Service
- Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service

Programs

- Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)
- Biodiesel Fuel Education Program
- Biorefinery Assistance Program
- Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels
- BioPreferred Program
- Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
- Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)
- Conservation Loan Program
- Electric Loan Programs
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- High Energy Cost Grants
- Home Repair Preservation Program
- Housing Preservation Grants
- Repowering Assistance Program
- Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program
- Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program
- Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program
- Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
- Single Family Housing Guaranteed Program
- Value-Added Producer Grant Program
- Woody Biomass Utilization Grants

Announcements (Federal Register Financial and Rules Notices)

Here is a list of current notice of solicitation for applications, and Federal Register rules and proposed rules announcements at USDA for energy/renewable energy programs. A brief description of the program is below, click on link for details regarding eligibility, other requirements, how to apply, point of contact, terms, Q&A and more.

 

Notice of Solicitation of Application for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2020

 

Rural Business-Cooperative Service invited applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems; to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance. The funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. This notice seeks applications for Fiscal Year 2020 funding. The deadlines to apply for grants are Oct. 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.
See Federal Register Notice.
Excerpt from RD Stakeholder Announcement

USDA Seeks Applications for Loans to Develop Biofuels, Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Products

The Department is accepting applications for loan guarantees to develop, construct and retrofit commercial scale biorefineries to develop advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, or biobased products. USDA is making the funding available through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. Applications must be received in the USDA’s Energy Programs division no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, April 1, 2020. For additional information and for application details, see page 55315 of the October 15 Federal Register. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include:

  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
  • Developing the Rural Economy
  • Harnessing Technological Innovation
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce
  • Improving Quality of Life

Press Releases

USDA Helps Rural Businesses Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2019 – Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald "DJ" LaVoy today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $237 million to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs (PDF, 229 KB). The Department is providing 640 awards to applicants in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). "Businesses grow and create more jobs when their energy costs are lower," LaVoy said. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives."

EXCERPT from RD News Release

USDA and DOE Join Forces to Increase Energy Technology Development and Deployment in Rural America

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Donald "DJ" LaVoy and U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two departments to promote rural energy and the development of technologies that will support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing.

The signed MOU (PDF, 2.5 MB), which was required under section 6501 of the 2018 Farm Bill, will enhance collaboration and coordination between the Department of Energy (DOE) and USDA. The areas covered by the MOU include facilitating energy-related investments in America's rural communities; streamlining, leveraging and optimizing program resources; encouraging innovation; offering technical assistance to rural communities; strengthening energy-related infrastructure; ensuring affordable and reliable power; and helping rural businesses export energy products and manufactured goods around the world.

EXCERPT from RD News Release