Grant applications for RES and EEI projects with Total Project Costs of $80,000 or less must provide the information specified in this section or, if the Applicant elects to do so, the information specified in either §§4280.117 or 4280.118. In order to submit an application under this section, the criteria specified in paragraph (a) of this section must be met. The content for applications submitted under this section is specified in paragraph (b) of this section. Unless otherwise specified in this subpart, the construction planning and performing development procedures and the payment process that will be used for awards for applications submitted under this section are specified in paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively, of this section.
Terms Used In 7 CFR 4280.119
- 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
- Appraisal: A determination of property value.
- Commercially Available: A system that meets the requirements of either paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition. 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
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- 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
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Inspector: A Qualified Consultant who has at least 3 years of experience and completed at least five inspections on similar type projects. See 7 CFR 4280.103
- Matching Funds: Those project funds required by the 7 U. 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
- 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
- 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
- Total Project Costs: The sum of all costs associated with a completed project. See 7 CFR 4280.103
(a) Criteria for submitting applications for RES and EEI projects with total project costs of $80,000 or less. In order to submit an application under this section, each of the conditions specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (7) of this section must be met.
(1) The Applicant must be eligible in accordance with §4280.112.
(2) The project must be eligible in accordance with §4280.113.
(3) Total Project Costs must be $80,000 or less.
(4) Construction planning and performing development must be performed in compliance with paragraph (c) of this section. The Applicant or the Applicant’s prime contractor assumes all risks and responsibilities of project development.
(5) The Applicant or the Applicant’s prime contractor is responsible for all interim financing, including during construction.
(6) The Applicant agrees not to request reimbursement from funds obligated under this program until after the project has been completed and is operating in accordance with the information provided in the application for the project.
(7) The Applicant must maintain insurance as required under §4280.122(b), except business interruption insurance is not required.
(b) Application content. Applications submitted under this section must contain the information specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4), as applicable, of this section and must be presented in the same order. Each Applicant is encouraged, but is not required, to self-score the project using the evaluation criteria in §4280.120 and to submit with their application the total score, including appropriate calculations and attached documentation or specific cross-references to information elsewhere in the application.
(1) Forms and certifications. Each application must contain the forms and certifications specified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (ix), as applicable, of this section except that paragraph (b)(1)(iv) is optional.
(i) Form SF-424.
(ii) Form SF-424C.
(iii) Form SF-424D.
(iv) Identify the ethnicity, race, and gender of the applicant. This information is optional and is not required for a Complete Application.
(v) Environmental documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970. The Applicant should contact the Agency to determine what documentation is required to be provided.
(vi) Certification by the Applicant that:
(A) The Applicant meets each of the Applicant eligibility criteria found in §4280.112;
(B) The proposed project meets each of the project eligibility requirements found in §4280.113;
(C) The design, engineering, testing, and monitoring will be sufficient to demonstrate that the proposed project will meet its intended purpose;
(D) The equipment required for the project is available, can be procured and delivered within the proposed project development schedule, and will be installed in conformance with manufacturer’s specifications and design requirements. This would not be applicable when equipment is not part of the project;
(E) The project will be constructed in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, agreements, permits, codes, and standards;
(F) The Applicant meets the criteria for submitting an application for projects with Total Project Costs of $80,000 or less;
(G) The Applicant will abide by the open and free competition requirements in compliance with §4280.124(a)(1); and
(H) For Bioenergy Projects, any and all woody biomass feedstock from National Forest System land or public lands cannot be otherwise used as a higher value wood-based product.
(vii) State whether the Applicant has received any grants and/or loans under this subpart. If the Applicant has, identify each such grant and/or loan and describe the progress the Applicant has made on each project for which the grant and/or loan was received, including projected schedules and actual completion dates.
(viii) The Applicant must identify whether or not the Applicant has a known relationship or association with an Agency employee. If there is a known relationship, the Applicant must identify each Agency employee with whom the Applicant has a known relationship.
(ix) The Applicant is a legal entity in good standing (as applicable), and operating in accordance with the laws of the state(s) or Tribe where the Applicant has a place of business.
(2) General. For both RES and EEI project applications:
(i) Identify whether the project is for a RES or an EEI project;
(ii) Identify the primary NAICS code applicable to the Applicant’s operation if known or a description of the operation in enough detail for the Agency to determine the primary NAICS code;
(iii) Describe in detail or document how the proposed project will have a positive effect on resource conservation (e.g., water, soil, forest), public health (e.g., potable water, air quality), and the environment (e.g., compliance with the EPA’s renewable fuel standard(s), greenhouse gases, emissions, particulate matter); and
(iv) Identify the amount of Matching Funds and other funds and the source(s) the Applicant is proposing to use for the project. In order to receive points under this scoring criterion, written commitments for funds (e.g., a Letter of Commitment, bank statement) must be submitted when the application is submitted.
(A) If financial resources come from the Applicant, the Applicant must submit documentation in the form of a bank statement that demonstrates availability of funds.
(B) If a third party is providing financial assistance, the Applicant must submit a commitment letter signed by an authorized official of the third party. The letter must be specific to the project, identify the dollar amount and any applicable rates and terms. If the third party is a bank, a letter-of-intent, pre-qualification letter, subject to bank approval, or other underwriting requirements or contingencies are not acceptable. An acceptable condition may be based on the receipt of the REAP grant or an appraisal.
(3) Technical report for EEI. Each EEI application submitted under this section must include a technical report in accordance with §4280.110(h) and paragraphs (b)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section.
(i) Project description. Provide a description of the proposed EEI, including its intended purpose and how it meets the requirements for being Commercially Available.
(ii) Qualifications of EEI provider(s). Provide a resume or other evidence of the contractor or installer’s qualifications and experience with the proposed EEI technology. Any contractor or installer with less than 2 years of experience may be required to provide additional information in order for the Agency to determine if they are a qualified installer/contractor.
(iii) Energy assessment. Provide a copy of the Energy Assessment (or Energy Audit) performed for the project as required under Section C of Appendix A to this subpart and the qualifications of the individual or entity which completed the Energy Assessment.
(iv) Simple Payback. Provide an estimate of Simple Payback, including all calculations, documentation, and any assumptions.
(4) Technical report for RES. Each RES application submitted under this section must include a technical report in accordance with §4280.110(h) and paragraphs (b)(4)(i) through (iv) of this section.
(i) Project description. Provide a description of the project, including its intended purpose and a summary of how the project will be constructed and installed, and how it meets the definition of Commercially Available. Identify the project’s location and describe the project site.
(ii) Resource assessment. Describe the quality and availability of the renewable resource to the project. Identify the amount of Renewable Energy that will be generated once the proposed system is operating at its steady state operating level.
(iii) Project economic assessment. Describe the projected financial performance of the proposed project. The description must address Total Project Costs, energy savings, and revenues, including applicable investment and other production incentives accruing from government entities. Revenues to be considered shall accrue from the sale of energy, offset or savings in energy costs, and byproducts. Provide an estimate of Simple Payback, including all calculations, documentation, and any assumptions.
(iv) Qualifications of key service providers. Describe the key service providers, including the number of similar systems installed and/or manufactured, professional credentials, licenses, and relevant experience. If specific numbers are not available for similar systems, you may submit an estimation of the number of similar systems.
(c) Construction planning and performing development for applications submitted under this section. All Applicants submitting applications under this section must comply with the requirements specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this section for construction planning and performing development.
(1) General. Paragraphs (a)(1), (2), and (4) of §4280.124 apply.
(2) Small acquisition and construction procedures. Small acquisition and construction procedures are those relatively simple and informal procurement methods that are sound and appropriate for a procurement of services, equipment and construction of a RES or EEI project with a Total Project Cost of not more than $80,000. The Applicant is solely responsible for the execution of all contracts under this procedure, and Agency review and approval is not required.
(3) Contractor forms. Applicants must have each contractor sign, as applicable:
(i) Form RD 400-6 for contracts exceeding $10,000; and
(ii) Form AD-1048 for contracts exceeding $25,000.
(d) Payment process for applications for RES and EEI projects with total project costs of $80,000 or less. (1) Upon completion of the project, the grantee must submit to the Agency a copy of the contractor’s certification of final completion for the project and a statement that the grantee accepts the work completed. At its discretion, the Agency may require the Applicant to have an Inspector certify that the project is constructed and installed correctly.
(2) The RES or EEI project must be constructed, installed, and operating as described in the technical report prior to disbursement of funds. For RES, the system must be operating at the steady state operating level described in the technical report for a period of not less than 30 days, unless this requirement is modified by the Agency, prior to disbursement of funds. Any modification to the 30-day steady state operating level requirement will be based on the Agency’s review of the technical report and will be incorporated into the Letter of Conditions.
(3) Prior to making payment, the grantee must provide the Agency with Form RD 1924-9 and Form RD 1924-10, or similar forms, executed by all persons who furnished materials or labor in connection with the contract.
[79 FR 78255, Dec. 29, 2014, as amended at 81 FR 11052, Mar. 2, 2016]