2008 Renewable Energy Improvements Program Funds Available

USDA Rural Development has released its NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) for this year’s Section 9006 clean energy grant and loan guarantee program. Congress recently boosted total 2008 funding for this program from US $23 million to US $36 million in recognition of the value and demand for Section 9006.

Some changes have been made from the 2007 process. The changes for 2008 are below.

Grants: For grants, the USDA is making US $15.9 million available for 2008 (though more may come later from unused loan guarantee allocations). The USDA has established two grant cycles this year, with application deadlines of April 16th and June 16th. 50% of the grant funding will be set aside for each cycle. Applications not funded in the first cycle will be reconsidered in the second cycle.

Loan Guarantees: USDA will review and decide applications for loan guarantees on a continuous basis, but must be received by USDA no later than June 16th. Applications for combined loan guarantee-grants will be reviewed bi-weekly and USDA also must receive those applications no later than June 16th. The USDA has provided funding resulting in US $205 million in loan guarantees (leveraging US $19.9 million from original Congressional funding).

On-Line Applications: Grant applicants have the option to submit applications online from www.grants.gov and submit their application electronically. (At the time of this writing, the application is not yet available). Loan guarantee applications can only be submitted in paper form.

Further Information: Further information on the program including frequently asked questions, official application forms and templates, checklists, tips, case studies, application instructions and regulations can be found at www.farmenergy.org.

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