Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky

Rural Energy For America Program(REAP) Grant-Technical Assistance

Rural Energy For America Program(REAP) Grant-Technical Assistance

solar panels on roofThe REAP 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.

The Montana Department of Agriculture was recently awarded a grant by USDA to provide technical assistance for small businesses and ag producers interested in applying to the REAP program. Through the MDA supported Food and Agriculture Development Center Network, applicants in all counties can receive assistance with:

  • determining project eligibility;
  • filing for System Award Management (SAM) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) registrations; and
  • assisting with completing and submitting a REAP grant application.


This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower the cost of energy for small businesses and agricultural producers.

Who may apply for this program?

Rotating solar panels in field
  • Agricultural producers
    • An entity directly engaged in production of agricultural products where at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations.
  • Small businesses
    • Must be located in eligible rural areas and one of the following:
      • Private for-profit entity (sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation)
      • A Cooperative [including those qualified under Section 501(c)(12) of IRS Code]
      • An electric utility (including a Tribal or governmental electric utility) that provides service to rural consumers and operates independent of direct government control)
      • A Tribal corporation or other Tribal business entities that are chartered under Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act (25 USC 477) or have similar structures and relationships with their Tribal entity without regard to the resources of the Tribal government.
    • Must meet the Small Business Administration size standards in accordance with 13 CFR 121.

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

What is an eligible area?

  •  Projects must be located in rural areas with populations of 50,000 residents or less*. 
  •  Check eligible rural areas

Agricultural producers may submit projects to be located in non-rural areas as long as the project is associated with an on-site production operation.

How may the funds be used?

Purchase and install alternative renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Solar panels-small and large solar generation
  • Wind turbines-small and large wind generation
  • Biodiesel, ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuel systems to be converted from diesel
  • Geothermal for electric generation for direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen projects
  • For more information, contact your local Food & Ag Development Center.

Purchase, install and construction of energy efficiency improvements (EEI), such as:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) upgrades
  • Insulation added, or replacement of old insulation with energy efficient insulation
  • Lighting upgrades
  • Coolers, refrigerators, capacitors upgrade
  • New doors and windows
  • Gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots.
  • Irrigation motor-switching from diesel to electric
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment- just ask!
  • For more information, contact your local Food & Ag Development Center.

Energy Efficiency Improvement applications must contain an Energy Audit, or Energy Assessment (depending on Total Project Costs) that complies with Appendix A to RD Instructions 4280-B

What funding is available?

Up to 50% of Eligible Costs, Renewable Energy Systems, Miniumu Total Project Cost, $10,000, Maximum Grant Request $1,000,000, Energy Efficiency Improvements, Minimum Total Project Costs, $6,000, Maximum GrantRequest $500,000, *Must meet requirements to be eligible for 50%*. *Maximum financing for loan/grant combo is 75% of eligible project cost.

Who can answer questions and provide assistance?

wind turbineContact your local Food and Agriculture Development Corporation.

Deadlines for Application:

  • March 31, 2024
  • June 30, 2024
  • September 30, 2024

The Montana Department of Agriculture is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write or call:

Montana Department of Agriculture
Ag Trade and Development Grants Manager
302 N. Roberts
Helena MT 59601

Telephone: (406) 444-3144  
Montana Relay: 711 (for customers with disabilities)
Facsimile: (406) 444-5409
TTY (Telephone Device for the Deaf): (406) 444-6234

USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410
(866) 632-9992 (voice);
(800) 877-8339 (Federal Relay)

In accordance with State and Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) 

Program information may be made available in languages other than English.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, and American Sign Language) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a complainant should complete a Form AD 3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA.  The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation.  The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights  1400 Independence Avenue, SW  Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

or Fax: (202) 690-7442 or (202) 690-7442;


Civil Rights Compliance Information