The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is making $16 million in grants available to help ensure that farmers and rural businesses in Virginia and across the nation get the support needed to be part of the clean energy economy.

Organizations that offer hands-on assistance to prospective Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) applicants are eligible for this assistance and can use the funds to:

* Help rural agricultural producers and small business owners apply for REAP funding.

* Provide information on how business owners and agricultural producers can improve the energy efficiency of their operations and use renewable energy technologies and resources.

* Conduct required energy assessments and audits.

* Aid in planning, building or developing renewable energy or energy efficiency projects.

* Assist with the completion of environmental reports/documentation required for application submittal.

“Wind, solar and other renewable energy systems can not only lower operating costs but also increase access to new markets and strengthen the resiliency of these businesses,” said Perry Hickman, USDA Rural Development Virginia State Director. “Technical assistance grants help us ensure that prospective applicants get the support they need to apply for this federal funding.”

This assistance is made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the nation’s largest investment in combatting the climate crisis. USDA Rural Development has made up to $1.3 billion in REAP IRA funding available since December 2022 and is capitalizing on greater flexibility to award new REAP TAG grants, hire additional staff support, and bolster outreach and customer service activities associated with this historic effort.

State, Tribal or local governments; colleges and universities; electric cooperatives and utility companies; and for-profit and non-profit organizations should submit applications forREAP Technical Assistance Grants (REAP TAG) by March 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET to be considered for fiscal year 2024 funding. For additional information and submission details, see page 12815 of the Feb. 20 Federal Register.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas.

Interested applicants can contact Virginia State Energy Coordinator Tracey Krepach at (804) 287-1606 or with specific questions. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit or contact the Virginia Rural Development state office.



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