Solar REAP Grants – Simplified

The Inflation Reduction Act now makes solar even more of a no-brainier for those farms and business eligible for government REAP grants. For Example – If your solar project costs $100,000, you can combine your 30% solar federal tax credit and the 40% REAP grant to reduce your project costs to $30,000. Depending on other qualifications you could be granted more or less than 40%. Compared to what the amount of money you’d lose to the power company without solar and it’s an easy decision.

The reality is that most business owners don’t apply because they assume the REAP application process is too involved. Moneywise Solar simplifies the process so your involvement is minimal. You’ll have your businesses financials ready for submittal but we do the heavy lifting. Yes is it a long bureaucratic process with a lot of waiting but the money you save is more than worth it. Just remember, when any part of the REAP grant process seems complicated, we handle it for/with you!

Below is a summary of REAP grants that only provides a quick and basic understanding without getting lost in the sauce.  
Contact us to learn more.  Phone: 434.249.1783  Email: jcampa@moneywisesolar.com

What is the REAP?
The Rural Energy of America Program (REAP) started in 2002 as part of the federal Farm Bill. Its purpose is to help small businesses and farmers access renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Through solar, these businesses are reducing and controlling energy costs, increasing energy security, and freeing up resources to re-invest. They are also exercising their freedom to choose how they power their business.

The REAP program has been so popular that the funding budget for the grants has not been able to meet the demand. But, the 2023 Inflation Reduction Act:

  • Quadrupled REAP funding over the next ten years.
  • Lifted the maximum grant size from 25 to 50% of total costs (up to $1 million)
  • Increased annual application windows from 2 to 4.

Eligibility
Those eligible for REAP funding are:

  • Business earning $5 million or less located in a town of 50,000 residents or less (Business in Charlottesville, VA could qualify for example)
  • Farmers earning 50% or more of their gross income from agricultural operations

See if your area qualifies: Enter your address on USDA Eligibility Map. If you are not sure you are eligible, Contact Us.

REAP Scoring System
Funding amounts granted are based on a 100-point scoring system. Some of some of the 8 scoring categories are:

  • Quantity of consumption to be covered by renewable energy
  • Solar project details such as payback period
  • Percentage of funds committed to project
  • Distressed community
  • Environmental benefits

REAP does not issue grants retroactively.

Applying

1)  After we design and quote your solar project, we continue working with you on completing the correct application forms and ensure they are filed on time with your state’s USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator. We will help you obtain your Unique Entity ID through the System of Awards Management (SAM.gov ) which is used to complete the application. Applicants will be asked to clarify items such as but limited to:

  1. Type of business
  2. Years generating income/incurring expenses
  3. Brief summary of the renewable energy proposed project
  4. Renewable energy project details (KW size, power production, energy offset, product description, payback period, net metering ratio)
  5. Cost Savings Analysis
  6. Solar service provider details (licensure/certifications etc)

2)   If you are doing any energy efficiency upgrades in conjunction with your renewable project, those upgrades should be included in detail on the application to be eligible for funding.

3)  You will also provide 3 previous years of tax returns and proof of funds. Although you will need to prove you have funds ready to deploy for your project, no solar payment is required prior to grant approval.  If you are denied funding, you have the option to pull the plug on the project with zero out of pocket.

4)  There are 4 additional REAP application forms which we will assist you with when appropriate.

Submit Your Application
After your application is submitted, the USDA Office of Rural Development will notify you of receipt. You can choose to proceed with your project or wait the expected 60 days to learn if you are granted funding or not.  If you are successful, the USDA office will contact you and send you the grant agreement to sign. Funds are then deposited in your preferred bank account.

It’s never too late to start the process.


Get your questions answered. Call 434-249-1783 or email us at jcampa@moneywisesolar.com


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