Funding assistance for farm and ranch energy projects

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for on-farm energy

Colorado Dept of Agriculture
ACRE: Advancing Colorado’s RE & EE

Colorado Energy Office
Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program


U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has grants, guaranteed loans and combination grant and guaranteed loans available to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses install renewable energy systems and energy efficiency.

Eligible applicants

  • Agricultural producer (directly and at least 50% of income from operations)
  • Rural small business as defined by SBA standards

Eligible project costs

  • Post-application purchase and installation of equipment
  • Post-application construction or improvements, except residential
  • Energy audits or assessments
  • Permit and license fees
  • Professional service fees, except for application preparation
  • Feasibility studies, technical reports, business plans
  • Retrofitting
  • Construction of a new energy efficient facility of same size and purpose
  • Energy efficiency improvements, as identified in an energy assessment or audit

Grant amounts

  • Energy efficiency upgrades: minimum $1,500, maximum $250,000
  • Renewable energy systems: minimum $2,500, maximum $500,000

Project eligibility

  • The project must use a pre-commercial or commercially available, and replicable technology.
  • The project must have technical merit.
  • The applicant must be the owner of the project and control the revenues and expenses of the project. A third party under contract to the owner may also be used to control revenues and expenses and manage the operation and/or maintenance of the project.

Types of projects

  • Energy Efficiency: Improvements need to be verified by an energy audit or assessment
  • Renewable energy: Bio-energy, Anaerobic Digester, Geothermal, Wind, Solar, Hydro

Application process

  • Applications may be submitted to any USDA office.
  • Applications are accepted any time. Current timing is July 7, 2014

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
for on-farm energy

The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for on-farm energy offers financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through planning and implementing conservation practices.

Grant amounts: up to $300,000

EQIP framework

  • Identify ways to conserve energy on the farm through an on-farm energy audit
  • Financial and technical assistance to implement recommendation in the energy audit

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be an agricultural producer
  • Comply with AGI limitation provisions
  • Comply with the highly erodable land & wetland conservation requirement
  • Develop an NRCS EQIP plan of operations

Application process

  • Applications accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year.
  • Applications are evaluated and ranked based on environmental benefits expected

Colorado Dept. of Agriculture
ACRE: Advancing Colorado’s RE & EE

The Colorado Dept of Agriculture ACRE program, Advancing Colorado’s RE & EE, is focused on:

  • Agricultural heating & cooling
  • Energy efficiency
  • Small-scale hydropower

For more information, contact:

Colorado Dept of Agriculture
ACRE: Advancing Colorado’s RE & EE
Sam Anderson
(303) 869-9044
sam.anderson@state.co.us


Colorado Energy Office
Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $1.1 million grant to the Colorado Energy Office in April 2016 to help finance energy efficiency improvements for Colorado farmers.

The award comes through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and is matched through a $1.3 million cash and in-kind combined contribution from CEO, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and utility and industry partners.

The funds will help finance energy and water saving projects identified through CEO's Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program. Over the two-year grant period, the efficiency improvements are expected to achieve more than 5,250 megawatt-hours of electricity savings and 524,000 gallons of water savings annually, and will provide additional environmental benefits to Colorado's agricultural producers.

"Over the last two years the Colorado Energy Office laid the foundation and identified significant opportunities for cost-effective energy savings in Colorado's agriculture industry,” said Jeff Ackermann, director of the Colorado Energy Office.”Having USDA on-board as a funding partner helps overcome the upfront investment barrier so farmers can affordably build out projects that can provide long-term savings.”

In 2015, CEO launched the Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program to provide agricultural producers free energy audits and technical assistance designed to select and implement cost-effective improvements that will reduce energy, water and operating costs.

To date, 63 producers have participated and 2,800 megawatt-hours of potential electricity savings have been identified through the audits. The program will expand to 200 producers during the next two years and is expected to generate over $4.5 million in potential savings in the next five years.

"This grant will enable the implementation of cost-effective projects identified through Colorado's statewide program, while meeting our goal to integrate energy conservation into agricultural practices," said Clint Evans, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Colorado's agriculture industry faces direct energy expenses of more than $400 million annually, which accounts for 7 percent of the industry's overall expenses, according to CEO's 2013 Agricultural Energy Market Research Report.

The report identifies 90,000 megawatt-hours of potential electricity savings annually and identifies dairies and irrigators as the most energy intense sectors with the greatest opportunity for savings.

For more information, contact

Michael Turner
Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program
michael.a.turner@state.co.us

Contact info

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentives Program for on-farm energy
Scott Knutson
(970) 945-5494 x103
scot.knutson@co.usda.gov

Colorado Dept of Agriculture
ACRE:
Advancing Colorado’s RE & EE
Sam Anderson
(303) 239-4182
sam.anderson@state.co.us

U.S. Department of Agriculture
REAP: Rural Energy for America Program
Pattie Snidow
(970) 874-5735 x132
pattie.snidow@co.usda.gov

Colorado Dairy and Irrigation Efficiency Program
Michael Turner
michael.a.turner@state.co.us

Free energy coaching for Garfield County farmers and ranchers:
Garfield Clean Energy
Matthew Shmigelsky
(970) 704-9200
matt@cleanenergyeconomy.net


Hydropower on your
farm or ranch

Learn about new incentives and streamlined regulations for small-scall on-farm hydropower