It was announced today that applications are being accepted for the Rural Energy for America Program, which is administered by USDA Rural Development. This program offers grants and/or loan guarantees for small businesses, ranchers and farmers who install renewable energy generating systems and energy efficiency improvements. The projects must be located in a rural area. Grants and guarantees may be used to finance up to 75 percent of any project, but no more than 25 percent of any project may be financed by the grant portion. Grants of $20,000 or less will be favored over larger grants. Perhaps $60 million will be made available nationwide through this program, according to officials in the Rural Development Oregon Field Office, though that is just a guess. Applications are due June 30 (postmarks do not count), but applicants are encouraged to apply sooner than later. Some of the details are included in this entry on the Federal Register. Those who have questions are encouraged to contact Don Hollis at the Oregon Field Office, 503-278-8049, ext. 129, or don.hollis.or.usda.gov.
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