How Can I Get Funding for Solar Panels on my Farm?

March 1, 2022

Did you know that you can use USDA farm grants to fund solar power initiatives on your farm or ranch? Solar panels can increase your operation’s profitability. One government grant for solar panels on farms is called the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

What is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)?

REAP is a USDA program that gives farmers free money to install renewable energy or make energy efficiency improvements on their farm or ranch. You can get up to $500,000 for installing things like:

  • Solar panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Hydropower
  • and geothermal energy.

If you prefer focusing on energy efficiency improvements, you can get up to $250,000 for projects such as:

  • HVAC
  • More efficient insulation
  • Lighting
  • Cooling or refrigeration units
  • Doors and windows
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor
  • or replacing energy inefficient equipment (like grain dryers).

While this is pretty exciting, it’s important to note that REAP will only cover 25% of your costs. This program is an example of a cost share where if your project costs $1,000, they will only fund 25% (or $250) meaning you must be prepared to pay for 75% of the costs (or in this scenario $750).

It’s something to keep in mind since these projects can be quite expensive. Still it is 25% less than you would pay on your own.

Am I Eligible for REAP?

REAP requires that either you:

  • Make 50% of your gross income off of your agricultural operation
  • or that you’re a small business in an eligible rural area.

If you meet one of these two criteria, then you’re most likely eligible!


How Can FarmRaise Help?

If you’re looking to fund and install solar panels on your farm, making energy efficient improvements can boost your profitability. REAP grants that help you switch to solar power can seem complicated and time consuming. Additionally, applications are narrative based, making them writing and time intensive.

Some farmers choose to hire a grant writer to simplify this process. FarmRaise can match you with a grant writer. However, if you prefer to write your grant on your own, a Farmer Success Advocate can offer support and guidance. Give us a call or text us at 224-242-3072. You can also set up a time to chat with a Farmer Success Advocate today.

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