Kentucky awarded half million in rural energy funds

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Kentucky $500,000 in grants to fund rural renewable energy projects throughout the state. The grants will go to 43 farm families and rural small businesses to cover the cost of implementing new renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations.

The grants are part of the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is the result of a 2008 Farm Bill Initiative that established funding sources to help people in rural areas mitigate the cost of being more energy efficient. REAP funds cover the purchase price and installation of renewable energy systems. USDA announced over $11 million in awards on Friday.

In order to receive funds through the REAP program award recipients must agree that grant funding will only cover 25% of the cost of implementation. No more than $500,000 can be spent on the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems and no more than $250,000 can go for implementing renewable energy measures.

“In this changing economy, our farm families and rural small business owners know they have to be innovative and resourceful to make sure their businesses grow,” said Gov. Beshear. “Their initiative in applying for these funds shows the dedication of Kentuckians to reduce our energy consumption and increase renewable energy usage.”