MCGA Radio: USDA's Rural Energy for America Program

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer

On this week’s MCGA Radio, USDA Rural Development state director Colleen Landkamer shared details on the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides funding to help farmers and rural small businesses install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Since 2009, 862 small business and farmers in Minnesota have used $33 million in REAP loan guarantees and grants to install solar panels, wind turbines, energy-efficient refrigeration, geothermal heating systems, lighting systems, flex-fuel pumps and other energy-savings projects.

“We’ve had tremendous success investing in renewable energy projects that make a tremendous impact in rural Minnesota,” said Landkamer, who noted that Minnesota is second in the nation in REAP funding since 2009.

REAP grants can cover up to 25 percent of total project costs. Loan guarantees through area lenders can cover up to 75 percent. Grant/loan guarantee combinations are also available. Funding for REAP comes from the farm bill.

To learn more about the program, check out USDA Rural Development’s REAP page, locate a Rural Development office near you for one-on-one assistance, or contact Ron Omann at the Rural Development state office in St. Paul at (651) 602-7796.

Listen to Landkamer talk about the REAP program on this weeks MCGA Radio below:


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