Rural Development USVI Accepting Applications for Renewable Energy Systems

Rural St. Croix

Rural Development USVI has announced the acceptance of applications for funds available under the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2020.

The Rural Energy for America Program helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and helps meet the nation’s critical energy needs. The program has two types of funding assistance:

(1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provide grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Eligible renewable energy systems for the Rural Energy for America Program provide energy from: wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources. Grants for up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs. (Loan guarantees on loans up to 75 percent of total eligible project costs)

The Funding Limits for Renewable Energy System Grants:
· $2,500 minimum
· $500,000 maximum
Energy Efficiency Grants:
· $1,500 minimum
· $250,000 maximum

(2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants are available to a unit of state, tribal or local government; instrumentality of a state, tribal or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council. The recipient of grant funds, the grantee, will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations.

The assistance must be provided to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. This restriction does not apply to agricultural producers. Assistance provided must consist of:
· Energy audits.
· Renewable energy technical assistance
· Renewable energy site assessments
Eligible project costs may include:
· Salaries directly related to the project.
· Travel expenses directly related to conducting energy audits or renewable energy development assistance.
· Office supplies.
· Administrative expenses, up to a maximum of 5 percent of the grant, which include, but are not limited to utilities, office space, office operation expenses and other project-related equipment.

Applicants must submit separate applications, limited to one energy audit and one Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants (REDA) per fiscal year. The maximum aggregate amount of an energy audit and REDA grant in a federal fiscal year is $100,000.

The application deadlines/closing windows are:
Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants ($20,000 or less grant only request or a combination grant and guaranteed loan where the grant request is $20,000 or less competing for up to approximately 50 percent of the set aside funds). The deadline is Oct. 31, 2019.

The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants The deadline is Jan. 31, 2020.

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Grants ($20,000 or less grant only request or a combination grant and guaranteed loan where the grant request is $20,000 or less competing for the remaining set aside funds). The deadline is March 31, 2020. *

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants (unrestricted grants, including combination grant and guaranteed loan where the grant request is greater than $20,000). The deadline is March 31, 2020. *

To obtain an application, contact:
Rena Elias, Area Specialist
Rural Development | U.S. Virgin Islands
U.S. Department of Agriculture
4401 Sion Farm, Suite 2 | Christiansted, VI 00820
Phone: 773.9146, ext. 4 | Fax: 1-855-475-6940

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