USDA Programs Offer Grants and Loans to Electric Utilities

For rural electric co-ops and municipal electrical utilities, there are some relatively new grant and loan programs being offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that can lighten the financial load on these utilities as they work to expand and/or improve their operations.

Combined, the programs offer grants, loans, and grant/loan combinations for projects such as: large and small scale solar; large and small-scale wind; building/facility energy efficiency improvements; energy efficiency improvements to generation and transmission systems; zero-emission systems; carbon capture storage systems; and possibly even energy storage projects.

Finley Engineering can help its clients learn all the details of these programs, determine which ones make sense to consider, and navigate the often complex paperwork required by the USDA to apply for these grants and loans.

The two programs of most interest to electric utilities in this regard are the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Empowering Rural America (ERA).

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