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USDA Releases Funding Notice for 2008 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program
Farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses have new opportunities to install energy efficiency upgrades and new renewable energy systems.
Yesterday, USDA Rural Development released its NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability, for this year's Section 9006 clean energy grant and loan guarantee program. The program rules are similar to last year's, with a few changes. Congress recently boosted total 2008 funding for this program from $23 million to $36 million in recognition of the value and demand for Section 9006.
Below are key changes for 2008:
Grants: For grants, the USDA is making $15.9 million available for 2008 (though more may come later from unused loan guarantee allocations). The USDA has established two grant cycles this year, with application deadlines of April 16th and June 16th. 5 0% of the grant funding will be set aside for each cycle. Applications not funded in the first cycle will be reconsidered in the second cycle.
Loan Guarantees: USDA will review and decide applications for loan guarantees on a continuous basis, but must be received by USDA no later than June 16th. Applications for combined loan guarantee-grants will be reviewed bi-weekly and USDA also must receive those applications no later than June 16th. The USDA has provided funding resulting in $205 million in loan guarantees (leveraging $19.9 million from original Congressional funding).
On-Line Applications: Grant applicants have the option to submit applications online from www.grants.gov and submit their application electronically. (At the time of this writing, the application is not yet available). Loan guarantee applications can only be submitted in paper form.
Further Information: Further information on the program including frequently asked questions, official application forms and templates, checklists, tips, case studies, application instructions and regulations can be found at Farm Energy.