Did you know that farmers and rural small businesses may be eligible for a grant covering up to 50% of eligible renewable energy project costs up to $1 million, significantly reducing a project’s payback period? It’s an incredible program that is growing in popularity. That’s why it’s the focus of our newest free course on HeatSpring – Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Solar Companies.

While the program was first created in 2002 as a part of the federal Farm Bill as a program of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development, it has been getting a lot of fresh attention. In 2022, REAP got a major boost in funding through the Inflation Reduction Act – an additional $1.7 billion to be exact.

The High-Level Basics

REAP is a federally funded grant and loan program that offers farmers (who earn at least 50% of their gross income from agricultural production) and rural small business owners access to renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. 

There are 2 main programs within the REAP umbrella. First, there’s a REAP loan guarantee program, which can cover up to 75% of total eligible project costs with federal loan guarantees. Then, there’s the focus of this course – the REAP grant program – which can cover up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. While the eligible technologies include a wide variety of renewable energy systems, this course zeros in on solar. 

REAP grants can be combined with other federal tax programs, like the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the modified accelerated cost recovery system. The combination of these incentives can greatly reduce the system’s payback period. A solar system’s payback period is the time it takes for savings from solar energy production to make back the initial investment in the solar system.

To learn more about the REAP program, eligibility requirements, application information, and tips to make your eligible customer’s application successful, enroll today in the free Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Solar Companies course.

The Instructors

This course was created by Corey Ramsden (VP of Go Solar Programs) and Emma Searson (Policy & Advocacy Campaigner) of Solar United Neighbors (SUN). SUN is a nationally based, 501c3 nonprofit organization that has been around since 2010. They are unaffiliated with any company or products. Their goal is to help people go solar and join together to fight for their energy rights through a combination of project and policy work. To learn more about SUN, you can check out their website.