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Nevada rural businesses eligible for program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants for projects to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.

In an announcement, the USDA said that it is investing $9.3 million through the Rural Energy for America Program for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the nation. Congress appropriated $50 million for grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. The USDA will make additional funding announcements in the program in coming weeks.

Recipients can use funding for a variety of needs, such as conducting energy audits and installing renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. Funds also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. The grant can support up to 25% of the total project cost for a small rural business, farmer or rancher to develop a renewable energy system or install energy efficiency improvements, like new lighting or HVAC.

Oct. 31 is the next deadline to apply for program grants $20,000 or less, or for program guaranteed loans.

For more information, contact USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator Laura Chavez at 775-443-4764. Information online at bit.ly/2tS5him

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas.

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