Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Sunday, February 7, 2010

USDA/Rural Development hosts New York State strategy session on rural economy and renewable energy

The New York State office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development convened ag and business leaders from across Upstate this past week for a strategy session at Hope Lodge at Greek Peak (a USDA-financed project ... see related stories on this blog)  on ways to stimulate the rural economy.  The workshop addressed issues related to access to capital and risk in the current economic climate, and also outlined areas of opportunity -- especially related to renewable energy. 

One particular program that has been of great benefit is the USDA's Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loan guarantees to farms and rural small busineses for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits.  The program requires matching funds, and grants are limited to 25 percent of a project's costs.  Loan guarantees can cover up to 75 percent of the project's costs. 

Last year, New York fared well in the competitive program, with grants going to Upstate projects that ranged from solar photovoltaic systems and wind turbines, to innovative aerobic composting systems and energy efficient grain-drying projects.

Further information about USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs, and a list of NYS recipients, is available at :