The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing.
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as: Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels); Geothermal for electric generation or direct use; Hydropower below 30 megawatts; Hydrogen; Small and large wind generation; Small and large solar generation; Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation.
Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as: High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC); Insulation; Lighting; Cooling or refrigeration units; Doors and windows; Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots; Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor; Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.
Agricultural producers may also use guaranteed loan funds to install energy efficient equipment and systems for agricultural production or processing.
Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas are eligible.
Businesses must be in located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 residents or less. Agricultural producers may be in rural or non-rural areas