PES & USDA Rural Energy for America Program

PES & USDA Rural Energy for America Program

The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Pickering Energy Solutions – Solar for Rural West Virginia

Parkersburg, WV (August 22, 2013)   Staff at Pickering Energy Solutions (PES) met with a USDA Rural Development representative today to discuss how the REAP program (Rural Energy for America) can benefit the Mid-Ohio Valley.  This is not a new program but historically there have been few grant awardees from this area.  Pickering Energy Solutions wants to change that.

The purpose of this multi-million dollar grant and loan program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for the purpose of purchasing and installing renewable energy systems in rural areas.  For those readers from out of the area, nearly the entire state of West Virginia is considered rural!

Up to 25% of your system cost can be paid to you by the USDA.  This is in addition to state, federal or other rebates.  Clearly this is a program aimed to make the total cost of your rooftop solar energy system an affordable and wise investment.  For renewable energy systems the minimum grant is $2,500 and the maximum grant is $500,000.

In addition to the grant program (=free money) the USDA also administers a guaranteed loan program for up to 75% of the total eligible project costs.  In fact, applicants may be able to qualify for a combination of grant (=free money) and guaranteed loan.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a farmer or a rural small business owner (all of WV except Charleston and surrounding area!).  An agricultural producer, or farmer, is someone who creates greater than 50% of his/her income for the production of agricultural products.  A rural small business is a private entity that fits the SBA’s (Small Business Administration) classification and can be a sole proprietorship, corporation, cooperative or electric utility.

It is a government grant program so there is paperwork…but there is help.  The regional USDA office in Morgantown, WV graciously offers any applicant direct assistance with completing the forms.  Also, our own Keri Dunn, PES Project Manager, states, “I have done very similar work for other funded projects…we are set up to handle this”.

PES can help!
Pickering Energy Solutions will design and install your solar energy system and guide you through the USDA paperwork to secure your grant and or loan.  We have the local expertise and the regional contacts to make the process easy for local farmers and small business!

About PES:

Established in 2012, Pickering Energy Solutions is a growth oriented company focused on making renewable energy systems a reality for residential and commercial building owners through direct sales or through a Power Purchase Agreement or Power Leasing arrangement.

About the Author:

Lance McCoy serves as Communications Director for Pickering Energy Solutions.  Lance is a green-minded entrepreneur and is a Certified Photovoltaic Site Assessor through MREA.