With the passage of the federal government $1.1 trillion spending bill last weekend, we are able to see exactly what the funding will be for this next round of USDA REAP (Renewable Energy for America Program). In our state of Wisconsin, we lack leadership support for renewable energy. It is nice to be reminded that on a national level, things seem a bit brighter.
Nationally, funding for REAP has been increased. In spring of 2014, the national pool of money for REAP was 12.5 million. For 2015, the pool of grant money was expanded to $50 million. While we continue to get clarification of any new details, the main purpose of REAP is still clear; to provide significant financial grant money for small and rural businesses that intend on offsetting at least 50% of their current energy use with renewable energy.
When you couple a successful REAP grant with the 30% federal tax credit, the 5 year MACRS depreciation schedule and Focus On Energy (2015 funding yet to be decided by the publishing of this article), small business owners can see their net investment into a solar energy system reduced by as much as 70%.
The cool thing about REAP grants is that the money really does go to those that it is designed top assist. Certainly small farmers benefit greatly from this grant, but so do main street businesses. That’s correct, any small business in Portage, Wood, Marathon or Waupaca counties (to name a few) is considered rural.
North Wind has successfully written over 20 REAP grant applications over the past three years. Negotiating through a successful REAP grant can be tricky. Just because a business is eligible to apply for REAP does not insure a successful grant. Call North Wind. The time to start planning for your 2015 project is today.