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USDA Solar Grants

Do you know your business may qualify for up to 80% of the total 
project cost covered through solar incentives?

Too good to be true? By combining the federal tax credit and USDA Solar Grants, 
solar has never been more financially accessible to rural small businesses and agricultural producers.
What do the USDA solar grants do?
The USDA solar grants provide grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for clean energy systems- including solar energy, as part of the Rural Energy for America Program. These funds are targeted to help people in communities that have been historically underinvested, which provides the opportunity for rural areas to be part of the nationwide movement towards clean energy.
The USDA solar grants make up to $10 million in grants available to underserved rural communities to deploy renewable energy technologies, including solar. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy-efficient equipment loans for agricultural production and processing.
2015 Commercial Installation in Upstate NY
General Information:


Who may apply for this program?

Agricultural producers with at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas may apply.

Note: Agricultural producers and small businesses must have no outstanding delinquent federal taxes, debt, judgement, or debarment.


What is an eligible area?

Businesses must be located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 residents or less. Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas.

Check eligible business addresses here.

What funding is available?

There are grants available for up to 50% of total eligible project costs.

What are the grant terms?

Renewable Energy System Grants have a $2,500 minimum and a $1 million maximum. Energy Efficient Grants have a $1,500 minimum and a $500,000 maximum.

Are there any additional requirements?

Applicants must provide at least 60% of the project cost if applying for a grant. In addition, all projects must have technical merit and utilize commercially available technology.

How do the numbers break down cost-wise?

With the USDA Grants covering up to 50% of the total project cost, and a 30% tax credit through the federal government, 80% of the total project cost will be paid for. To put this into perspective, a $200,000 project would only cost $40,000 after the USDA Grants and federal tax credits come into play.

Why does the USDA do this?

This program is meant to increase American energy independence by making clean energy more accessible for small businesses and agricultural producers. The USDA does this by increasing the supply of renewable energy in the private sector.

What legislation makes this possible?

The USDA grants are through the Code of Federal Regulation. However, the Rural Energy for America Program for renewable energy at-large is authorized by Title IX of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.

Who can answer my questions?

You can contact your State Rural Development Energy Coordinator. To get started, applications are available year-round at your local office!

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