For a project to be eligible to receive a RES or EEI grant under this subpart, the proposed project must meet each of the requirements specified in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section.
Terms Used In 7 CFR 4280.113
- 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
- Agricultural Producer: An individual or entity directly engaged in the production of agricultural products, including crops (including farming). 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
- Commercially Available: A system that meets the requirements of either paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Eligible Project Costs: The Total Project Costs that are eligible to be paid or guaranteed with REAP funds. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Energy Assessment: An Agency-approved report assessing energy use, cost, and efficiency by analyzing energy bills and surveying the target building and/or equipment sufficiently to provide an Agency-approved Energy Assessment. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Energy Audit: A comprehensive report that meets an Agency-approved standard prepared by an Energy Auditor or an individual supervised by an Energy Auditor that documents current energy usage. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Refurbished: Refers to a piece of equipment or Renewable Energy System that has been brought into a commercial facility, thoroughly inspected, and worn parts replaced and has a warranty that is approved by the Agency or its designee. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Renewable Energy: Energy derived from:
(1) A wind, solar, Renewable Biomass, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal or Hydroelectric Source. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Retrofitting: A modification that incorporates a feature or features not included in the original design or for the replacement of existing components with ones that improve the original design and does not impact original warranty if the warranty is still in existence. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Rural Small Business: A Small Business that is located in a Rural Area or that can demonstrate the proposed project for which assistance is being applied for under this subpart is located in a Rural Area. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Small Business: An entity or utility, as applicable, described below that meets Small Business Administration's (SBA) definition of Small Business as found in 13 CFR part 121. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- State: Any of the 50 States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U. See 7 CFR 4280.103
(a) Be for:
(1) The purchase of a new RES;
(2) The purchase of a Refurbished RES;
(3) The Retrofitting of an existing RES; or
(4) Making EEI that will use less energy on an annual basis than the original building and/or equipment that it will improve or replace as demonstrated in an Energy Assessment or Energy Audit as applicable.
(i) Types of improvements. Eligible EEI include, but are not limited to:
(A) Efficiency improvements to existing RES and
(B) Construction of a new energy efficient building only when the building is used for the same purpose as the existing building, and, based on an Energy Assessment or Energy Audit, as applicable, it will be more cost effective to construct a new building and will use less energy on annual basis than improving the existing building.
(ii) Subsequent Energy Efficiency Improvements. A proposed EEI that replaces or duplicates an EEI previously funded under this subpart may or may not be eligible for funding.
(A) If the proposed EEI would replace or duplicate the same EEI that had previously received funds under this subpart prior to the end of the useful life, as specified in the Financial Assistance Agreement, of that same EEI, then the proposed improvement, even if it is more energy efficient than the previously funded improvement, is ineligible. Example: An Applicant received a REAP grant to replace an exhaust fan (exhaust fan A) in a barn with a more energy efficient exhaust fan (exhaust fan B) with an expected useful life of 15 years, as specified in the Financial Assistance Agreement. If the Applicant decides to replace exhaust fan B after 8 years (i.e., before it has reached the end of its useful life as specified it the Financial Assistance Agreement), an application for exhaust fan C to replace exhaust fan B would be ineligible for funding under this subpart even if exhaust fan C is more energy efficient than exhaust fan B.
(B) If the proposed EEI would replace or duplicate the same EEI that had previously received funds under this subpart at or after the end of the useful life, as specified in the Financial Assistance Agreement, of that same EEI, then the proposed improvement is eligible for funding under this subpart provided it is more energy efficient than the previously funded improvement. If the proposed EEI is not more energy efficient than the previously funded improvement, then it is not eligible for funding under this subpart.
(b) Be for a Commercially Available technology;
(c) Have technical merit, as determined using the procedures specified in §4280.116; and
(d) Be located in a Rural Area in a State if the type of Applicant is a Rural Small Business, or in a Rural or non-Rural Area in a State if the type of Applicant is an Agricultural Producer. If the Agricultural Producer’s operation is in a non-Rural Area, then the application can only be for RES or EEI on components that are directly related to and their use and purpose is limited to the agricultural production operation, such as vertically integrated operations, and are part of and co-located with the agricultural production operation.
(e) For an RES project in which a residence is closely associated with and shares an energy metering device with a Rural Small Business, where the residence is located at the place of business, or agricultural operation, the application is eligible if the applicant can document that one of the options specified in paragraphs (e)(1) through (3) of this section is met:
(1) Installation of a second meter (or similar device) that results in all of the energy generated by the RES being used for non-residential energy usage;
(2) Certification is provided in the application that any excess power generated by the RES will be sold to the grid and will not be used by the Applicant for residential purposes; or
(3) Demonstration that 51 percent or greater of the energy to be generated will benefit the Rural Small Business or agricultural operation. The Applicant must provide documentation that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(i) A Renewable Energy Site Assessment; or
(ii) The amount of energy that is used by the residence and the amount that is used by the Rural Small Business or agricultural operation. Provide documentation, calculations, etc. to support the breakout of energy amounts. The Agency may request additional data to determine residential versus business operation usage; and
(iii) The actual percentage of energy determined to benefit the Rural Small Business or agricultural operation will be the basis to determine eligible project costs.
(f) The Applicant is cautioned against taking any actions or incurring any obligations prior to the Agency completing the environmental review that would either limit the range of alternatives to be considered or that would have an adverse effect on the environment, such as the initiation of construction. If the Applicant takes any such actions or incurs any such obligations, it could result in project ineligibility.