(a) Satisfactory progress. An Applicant that has received one or more grants and/or guaranteed loans under this program must make satisfactory progress, as determined by the Agency, toward completion of any previously funded projects before the Applicant will be considered for subsequent funding.

Terms Used In 7 CFR 4280.110

  • Agency: The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) or successor agency assigned by the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the Rural Energy for America Program. See 7 CFR 4280.103
  • Applicant: (1) Except for EA and REDA grants, the Agricultural Producer or Rural Small Business that is seeking a grant, guaranteed loan, or a combination of a grant and loan, under this subpart. See 7 CFR 4280.103
  • Complete Application: An application that contains all parts necessary for the Agency to determine Applicant and project eligibility, score the application, and, where applicable, enable the Agency to determine the technical merit of the project. See 7 CFR 4280.103
  • Federal Fiscal Year: The 12-month period beginning October 1 of any given year and ending on September 30 of the following year. See 7 CFR 4280.103
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Hybrid: A combination of two or more Renewable Energy technologies that are incorporated into a unified system to support a single project. See 7 CFR 4280.103
  • Simple Payback: The estimated Simple Payback of a project funded under this subpart as calculated using paragraph (1) or (2) as applicable, of this definition. See 7 CFR 4280.103

(b) Application submittal. Applications must be submitted in accordance with the provisions of this subpart unless otherwise specified in a Federal Register notice. Grant applications, guaranteed loan-only applications, and combined guaranteed loan and grant applications for financial assistance under this subpart may be submitted at any time.

(1) Grant applications. Complete grant applications will be accepted on a continuous basis, with awards made based on the application’s score and subject to available funding.

(2) Guaranteed loan-only applications. Complete guaranteed loan-only applications will be accepted on a continuous basis, with awards made based on the application’s score and subject to available funding. Each application that is ready for funding and that scores at or above the minimum score will be competed on a periodic basis, with higher scoring applications receiving priority. Each application ready for funding that receives a score below the minimum score will be competed in a National Office competition at the end of the fiscal year in which the application was ready to be competed.

(3) Combined guaranteed loan and grant applications. Applications requesting a RES or EEI grant and a guaranteed loan under this subpart will be accepted on a continuous basis, with awards made based on the grant application’s score and subject to available funding.

(c) Limit on number of applications. An Applicant can apply for only one RES project and one EEI project under this subpart per Federal Fiscal Year.

(d) Limit on type of funding requests. An Applicant can submit only one type of funding request (grant-only, guaranteed loan-only, or combined funding) for each project under this subpart per Federal Fiscal Year.

(e) Application modification. Once submitted and prior to Agency award, if an Applicant modifies its application, the application will be treated as a new application. The submission date of record for such modified applications will be the date the Agency receives the modified application, and the application will be processed by the Agency as a new application under this subpart.

(f) Incomplete applications. Applicants must submit Complete Applications in order to be considered for funding. If an application is incomplete, the Agency will identify those parts of the application that are incomplete and return it, with a written explanation, to the Applicant for possible future resubmission. Upon receipt of a Complete Application by the appropriate Agency office, the Agency will complete its evaluation and will compete the application in accordance with the procedures specified in §§4280.121, 4280.179, or 4280.193 as applicable.

(g) Application withdrawal. During the period between the submission of an application and the execution of loan and/or grant award documents for an application selected for funding, the Applicant must notify the Agency, in writing, if the project is no longer viable or the Applicant no longer is requesting financial assistance for the project. When the Applicant notifies the Agency, the selection will be rescinded and/or the application withdrawn.

(h) Technical report. Each technical report submitted under this subpart, as specified in §§4280.117(e), 4280.118(b)(4), and 4280.119(b)(3) and 4280.119(b)(4) must comply with the provisions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (3), as applicable, of this section.

(1) Technical report format and detail. The information in the technical report must follow the format specified in §4280.119(b)(3), §4280.119(b)(4), and Appendices A through C of this subpart, as applicable. Supporting information may be submitted in other formats. Design drawings and process flowcharts are encouraged as exhibits. In addition, information must be provided, in sufficient detail, to:

(i) Allow the Agency to determine the technical merit of the Applicant’s project under §4280.116;

(ii) Allow the calculation of Simple Payback as defined in §4280.103; and

(iii) Demonstrate that the RES or EEI will operate or perform over the project’s useful life in a reliable, safe, and a cost-effective manner. Such demonstration shall address project design, installation, operation, and maintenance.

(2) Technical report modifications. If a technical report is prepared prior to the Applicant’s selection of a final design, equipment vendor, or contractor, or other significant decision, it may be modified and resubmitted to the Agency, provided that the overall scope of the project is not materially changed as determined by the Agency. Changes in the technical report may require additional environmental documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970.

(3) Hybrid projects. If the application is for a Hybrid project, technical reports must be prepared for each technology that comprises the Hybrid project.

(i) Time limit on use of grant funds. Except as provided in paragraph (i)(1) of this section, grant funds not expended within 2 years from the date the Financial Assistance Agreement was signed by the Agency will be returned to the Agency.

(1) Time extensions. The Agency may extend the 2-year time limit if the Agency determines, at its sole discretion, that the grantee is unable to complete the project for reasons beyond the grantee’s control. Grantees must submit a request for the no-cost extension no later than 30 days before the expiration date of the Financial Assistance Agreement. This request must describe the extenuating circumstances that were beyond their control to complete the project for which the grant was awarded, and why an approval is in the government’s best interest.

(2) Return of funds to the agency. Funds remaining after grant closeout that exceed the amount the grantee is entitled to receive under the Financial Assistance Agreement will be returned to the Agency.

[79 FR 78255, Dec. 29, 2014, as amended at 81 FR 11052, Mar. 2, 2016]