Meetings Scheduled to Explain REAP Energy Efficiency Programs

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A federal program that could help farmers, ranchers, rural communities, and rural businesses save on energy costs will be explained at a series of meetings scheduled this month in three South Dakota communities. The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Guaranteed Loan Program will be explained at meetings in Watertown December 14, Brookings December 15, and Beresford December 16.

The REAP was included in the 2008 Farm Bill and is administered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). REAP encourages the commercial financing of renewable energy (bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, solar, wind and hydro power) and energy efficiency projects. Under the program, project developers will work with local lenders, who in turn can apply to USDA Rural Development for a loan guarantee up to 85 percent of the loan amount. USDA also offers grants, or a combination of a grant and guaranteed loan to help fund a project. REAP is directed toward agricultural producers and rural small businesses.

The meetings will include experts from USDA, local cooperatives and advocacy groups. These experts will give attendees important information about program eligibility, energy audits, and other specifics about applying for the program. There will be opportunities to ask questions about REAP and find out if it’s right for specific farms, businesses, or communities.

The meetings are sponsored by The Environmental Law & Policy Center, South Dakota Farmers Union, East River Electric Power Cooperative and your local Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.

Tuesday, December 14
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Codington County Electric Cooperative
3520 9th Ave SW
Watertown, SD

Wednesday December 15
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Swiftel Center
824 32nd Ave
Brookings, SD

Thursday December 16
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Beresford Public Library
115 S. 3rd St
Beresford, SD

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