USDA Rural Energy for America Program Guide

2. SYSTEM GRANTS

 

2.1. APPLICANT INFORMATION CHECKLIST

The following is the minimum amount of documentation you will need to provide for your system grant application. We discuss other required information below. Such information will vary depending on the type of project and the total project costs.

  • Last full year’s tax returns, including business taxes for a rural business.
  • For applicants for projects above $200,000 in total costs, the last three years of financial statements (balance sheets, income statements)
  • For applicants for projects above $200,000 in total costs, the most recent balance sheet or income statement (within the last 90 days).
  • A description of your business operation, including number of employees.
  • Evidence of matching funds for 75% of project costs. Examples include a bank statement showing your funds on hand, loan approval documents, or line of credit verification.
  • A copy of relevant bids for services and/or equipment.
  • Contact information for your dealer or your service provider.
  • A Duns and Bradstreet (DUNS) number. A DUNS number is a unique nine-character identification number provided by Dun and Bradstreet. You can obtain a DUNS number free of charge.

2.2. APPLICATION FORMATS

There are two types of applications for REAP system grants:

  • Simplified application for projects whose total costs are $200,000 or less
  • Full application for projects whose total costs are more than $200,000.

2.2.1. SIMPLIFIED APPLICATION: SYSTEMS GRANTS


2.2.1.1. FORMS
 

Cover letter. The cover letter summarizes that the project is eligible for a simplified application form. You will need to confirm that:

  • Your project’s total costs will be $200,000 or less
  • The project will use commercially available technology.
  • Construction planning and performing development will be in compliance with USDA requirements. The applicant or the applicant’s prime contractor will assume all risks and responsibilities of project development.
  • The applicant or the applicant’s prime contractor will be responsible for all interim financing.
  • The project will be scheduled to be completed within 24 months after entering into a grant agreement with USDA. (This period may be extended if USDA determines that the applicant is unable to complete the project for reasons beyond the applicant’s control.)
  • The applicant will not request awarded funds until after completion of the project, including all operational testing and certifications acceptable to USDA.
  • The applicant will not use the awarded funds for any residential purpose.

Table of contents. This lists the page numbers for each piece of your application, including forms and other required information.

Form SF 424: Application for Federal Assistance. Some items on this form are explained below:

  • Project contact. This can be someone other than the applicant. It should be someone who understands all aspects of the project—for example, a contractor.
  • Name of federal agency. List "USDA Rural Development" as the name of the federal agency. The "Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance" reference will be specific to REAP Feasibility Grant, REAP Renewable Energy Systems Grant, or REAP Energy Efficiency Improvement Grant.
  • Congressional District. This is your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. You may have different Representatives for the applicant’s location and the project location.
  • Estimated Funding. You should list your planned sources of funding. For projects for which the applicant is seeking other funding, list the other planned sources of funding. Such funding may not be yet secured, but you should list items for which you can furnish documentation such as filed applications that are still pending, or received funds.
  • Review under Executive Order 12372. REAP projects are subject to this. Your USDA REAP coordinator handles this process for you. (Note that the linked form refers only to Oregon. Please insert your state instead if you are not in Oregon.)

Form SF 424C: Budget Information—Construction Programs. Provide your best estimate of the listed project costs. You must arrive at a total project cost, and then determine what percentage of such costs are to be covered by REAP. Be ready to provide documentation on these cost items later in the application. Regarding Executive Order 12372, REAP projects are subject to this, and your state’s REAP coordinator will handle this review. (Note that the linked form refers only to Oregon. Please insert your state instead if you are not in Oregon.)

Form SF 424D: Assurances—Construction Programs. Read through the requirements. Requirements include providing USDA will full access to relevant records related to the costs supported by the grant, obtaining written permission from USDA for changes in the use, terms, and interest of property, site and facilities to be supported by the grant, and numerous requirements for the conduct of the project.

Some laws worth highlighting include the Hatch Act on political activities, the Davis-Bacon Act on labor standards, the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Regarding Executive Order 12372, REAP projects are subject to this, and your state’s REAP coordinator will handle this review. (Note that the linked form refers only to Oregon. Please insert your state instead if you are not in Oregon.)

Form AD-1047: Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters - Primary Covered Transactions.

Form AD-1049: Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants)

Form RD 400-1: Equal Opportunity Agreement

Form RD 400-4: Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964)

Certification of relationship. Provide information on any relationships you have with USDA.

Certification of need. Confirm that you need REAP funds to make your project happen, including achieving sustainable financial performance. Note that USDA will have the right to obtain all necessary information, if necessary, to make its own determination.

Form RD 1940-20: Request for Environmental Information. This is a checklist of any environmental reviews and identified impacts of your project. Make sure you have completed the necessary reviews of your project. For example, an energy efficiency upgrade will likely not require review by a state historic preservation officer, while a wind project ready for construction should have gone through such review already. For land uses, understand that many of the categories listed have legal and/or technical definitions (e.g., wetlands, wilderness, critical habitat) that may require a consultant to confirm.

Supplemental environmental information. As with Form RD-1940-20, the level of information will vary greatly depending on your project. Most energy efficiency upgrades will not require this step, but other projects with large physical footprints (wind, geothermal power, hydropower, biomass) should have gone through the necessary analysis and permitting to answer these questions in full.

Organizational documents. Unless you are a sole proprietor, provide a copy of your legal organizational documents, including partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, by-laws, etc.

In Idaho, you can find your incorporation information at Access Idaho. The USDA-Idaho office merely wants proof that you are legally incorporated, and does not require articles of incorporation or by-laws. In Oregon, you can find your incorporation information at the Oregon Secretary of State website. In Washington, visit the Washington Secretary of State website. And in Montana, visit the Montana Secretary of State website.

Project summary. You should have already provided information on the points in this summary elsewhere in your application. You can provide a very brief summary of these points here, and refer to the relevant pages in your application for further information.

Matching funds spreadsheet. Remember that you do not need to have all of these funds in hand. For example, if you have applications pending for other government incentives, then you can label these sources as "pending" rather than "available" as long as you can prove that you have sent in such applications.

Since REAP grants are provided upon completion of a project, you must also show that you have the "interim" funds available for the duration of the project preparation. Note that "in-kind" contributions by the applicant, including labor, is limited to 10% or less of total project costs, with the remainder in cash or credit.

The linked form includes references to the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit and the Energy Trust of Oregon. Note that if are not in Oregon, then these incentives do not apply. However, you can find out about you own state’s incentives.

Self-evaluation score sheet. We discuss the evaluation process for system grant applications below.

2.2.1.2. TECHNICAL REPORTS

Technical reports differ based on whether you are planning an energy efficiency technical report or a  renewable energy technical report.

2.2.1.2.1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY TECHNICAL REPORT

Note that projects above $50,000 in total costs (which still qualify for the simplified application form) must have a full energy audit documented in the application. Projects below $50,000 require only a brief energy assessment. However, note that the preference is always in favor of an audit, which could earn a project more evaluation points.

A technical report of any project size should include information on:

  • Qualifications of key project service providers. This includes contact information, years of related experience, and number of similar projects completed. Personnel include auditors, engineers, contractors, equipment suppliers, and project managers.
  • Relevant agreements, permits and certifications. For energy efficiency, this could include building permits and electrical permits. You must provide copies of these documents.
  • Energy assessment or energy audit. An energy audit is required for this requirement for projects above $50,000 in total costs. The audit should detail current energy use and the energy to be saved by each measure, in terms of reduced power, gas, and other fuel (e.g., propane) use. Energy assessments (for projects below $50,000 in total costs) go into less project detail. Your utility may have performed such an assessment or audit that qualifies for this requirement.
  • Design and engineering specifications. This includes components, materials and/or systems to be used. List suppliers including model numbers for the equipment. You must provide documents covering design and engineering specs, including process flowcharts (if relevant).
  • Development schedule. Break out the different steps in the project (equipment orders, equipment receipt, construction and completion).
  • Economic assessment of the project. Include information on equipment and service costs, projected energy savings per year (e.g., kilowatt-hours per year), planned incentives (including REAP, as well as other federal, state and utility incentives), and cost of the avoided energy use (e.g., cents per kilowatt-hour).
  • Operations and maintenance plan. Spell out and provide documentation of equipment life, and equipment and service warranties. Indicate if you have identified someone to address maintenance. You must provide warranty documentation in your application.
  • Dismantling and disposal of project components. You must agree to dispose of equipment safely.
  • Technical worksheet.
2.2.1.2.2. RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNICAL REPORT

Technical reports for renewable energy systems cover the same issues discussed above, as long as such information pertains to your particular technology. Information covers:

  • Proposed supplier experience
  • Project location
  • Equipment and design specifications, including schematics
  • Relevant permits and the status of each permit (whether in process or received, with copies of received permits)
  • Utility agreements including interconnection and power purchase agreements and their status (with copies of final agreements)
  • Resource assessment, which will differ by the type of resource (e.g., wind speed measurements over time, solar insolation measurements over time, biomass supply estimates, etc.)
  • Expected output
  • Project development schedule
  • Project economics
  • Operations and maintenance plan, and
  • System disposal plans for the end of the project.

Some applications require a statement that (1) equipment will be purchased under "open and free competition" and (2) equipment installation will be done under applicable safety and work rules.

USDA also looks for equipment warranties of at least 3 years and design warranties of at least 10 years.

Biomass. Biomass reporting requirements include details on the biomass feedstock, quantity available by season, and the collection, transport and storage of the biomass.
Anaerobic digester. The resource assessment for digesters is similar in theme as for solid biomass, with information covering the type of waste (animal, food, other) to be used.
Geothermal, electric. Permit information should include well construction and disposal or re-injection of cooled geothermal waters. Geothermal resource information should include temperature, flow, type of conversion system, handling of cooled geothermal waters (if necessary), and process for determining resource such as collection and measurement of data.
Geothermal, direct use. Information requirements are the same as for geothermal electric. Since many direct use systems use existing geothermal resource and collection systems, you can draw upon information on such systems in your report.
Hydropower. Hydropower is perhaps the most complex project type for REAP applications. Appendix A of the 2010 notice of funding availability (PDF) covers rules regarding hydropower projects.
Hydrogen. Hydrogen projects under the REAP program must entail "renewable energy systems that produce hydrogen, or a renewable energy system that uses mechanical or electric power or thermal energy from a renewable resource using hydrogen as an energy transport medium."
Solar, hot water. Solar water heater projects fall into the "simplified application" category if total project costs are below $200,000. Solar project technical reports should include a photo of the project location, and include information on any potential obstructions to solar insolation (e.g., trees). Solar resource availability must be based on the orientation of the proposed system (tilt, azimuth). The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PV Watts on-line program can provide the necessary information after you input information on geographic location and system orientation. USDA also requires all installers to be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.
Solar, small electric (≤10kw). Solar project technical reports should include a photo of the project location, and include information on any potential obstructions to solar insolation (e.g., trees). Solar resource availability must be based on the orientation of the proposed system (tilt, azimuth). The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PV Watts on-line program can provide the necessary information after you input information on geographic location and system orientation.
Solar, large electric (>10kw). Reporting requirements are similar to those of solar electric systems at or below 10 kW. [CONFIRM] Solar project technical reports should include a photo of the project location, and include information on any potential obstructions to solar insolation (e.g., trees). Solar resource availability must be based on the orientation of the proposed system (tilt, azimuth). The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PV Watts on-line program can provide the necessary information after you input information on geographic location and system orientation.
Wind, small (≤100kw). Resource information for small wind systems includes annual average wind speed at a specified height, wind direction (a wind rose can help here), and detailed cost and warranty term information for different components. Wind resource measurements do not have to be based on site-specific measurements and could draw upon off-the-shelf data for the general location of the project. However, we encourage you to understand site-specific resource issues as best as possible since wind resource is often unique to locations due to ground cover, topography, elevation, and other issues.
Wind, large (>100kw). Information requirements are similar to those for small wind, though regulations call for wind measurement data to be specific to the project site for projects above 500 kW.
Addendums.

2.2.2. FULL APPLICATION: SYSTEM GRANTS


2.2.2.1. FORMS
 

Cover letter. The cover letter summarizes that the project is eligible for a simplified application form. You will need to confirm that:

  • Your project’s total costs will be more than $200,000.
  • The project will use commercially available technology.
  • Construction planning and performing development will be in compliance with USDA requirements. The applicant or the applicant’s prime contractor will assume all risks and responsibilities of project development.
  • The applicant or the applicant’s prime contractor will be responsible for all interim financing.
  • The project will be scheduled to be completed within 24 months after entering into a grant agreement with USDA. (This period may be extended if USDA determines that the applicant is unable to complete the project for reasons beyond the applicant’s control.)
  • The applicant will not request awarded funds until after completion of the project, including all operational testing and certifications acceptable to USDA.
  • The applicant will not use the awarded funds for any residential purpose.

Table of contents. This lists the page numbers for each piece of your application, including forms and other required information.

Form SF 424: Application for Federal Assistance. Some items on this form are explained below:

  • Project contact. This can be someone other than the applicant. It should be someone who understands all aspects of the project—for example, a contractor.
  • Name of federal agency. List "USDA Rural Development" as the name of the federal agency. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance will be specific to REAP Feasibility Grant, REAP Renewable Energy Systems Grant, or REAP Energy Efficiency Improvement Grant.
  • Congressional District. This is your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Select the Representative covering the district where your project is located.
  • Estimated Funding. You should list your planned sources of funding. For projects for which the applicant is seeking other funding, list the other planned sources of funding. Such funding may not be yet secured, but you should list items for which you can furnish documentation such as filed applications that are still pending, or received funds.
  • Review under Executive Order 12372. REAP projects are subject to this, but the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho have not selected such projects for review. (Note that the linked form refers only to Oregon. Please insert your state instead if you are not in Oregon.)

Form SF 424C: Budget Information—Construction Programs. Provide your best estimate of the listed project costs. You must arrive at a total project cost, and then determine what percentage of such costs are to be covered by REAP. Be ready to provide documentation on these cost items later in the application. Regarding Executive Order 12372, while REAP projects are subject to this, your state’s REAP coordinator handles the review process. (Note that the linked form refers only to Oregon. Please insert your state instead if you are not in Oregon.)

Form SF 424D: Assurances—Construction Programs. Read through the requirements. Requirements include providing USDA will full access to relevant records related to the costs supported by the grant, obtaining written permission from USDA for changes in the use, terms, and interest of property, site and facilities to be supported by the grant, and numerous requirements for the conduct of the project.

Some laws worth highlighting include the Hatch Act on political activities, the Davis-Bacon Act on labor standards, the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Regarding Executive Order 12372, REAP projects are subject to this, and your state’s REAP coordinator handling the review process. (Note that the linked form refers only to Oregon. Please insert your state instead if you are not in Oregon.)

Form AD-1047: Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters - Primary Covered Transactions.

Form AD-1048: Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Covered Transactions

Form AD-1049: Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants)

Exhibit A-1, 1940-Q: Certification for Contracts, Grants and Loans. You must state that received funds will not be used to fund efforts to influence the federal government.

PDF Form SF LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. If you (including staff in your organization) are lobbying elected federal officials or federal agencies, then you must submit information of the registered lobbyist.

Form RD 400-1: Equal Opportunity Agreement

Form RD 400-4: Assurance Agreement (Under Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964)

Certification of relationship. Provide information on any relationships you have with USDA.

Certification of need. Confirm that you need REAP funds to make your project happen, including achieving sustainable financial performance. Note that USDA will have the right to obtain all necessary information, if necessary, to make its own determination.

Form RD 1940-20: Request for Environmental Information. This is a checklist of any environmental reviews and identified impacts of your project. If you are applying for a system grant, then make sure you have done the necessary reviews. For example, an energy efficiency upgrade will likely not require review by a state historic preservation officer, while a wind project ready for construction should have gone through such review already. For land uses, understand that many of the categories listed have legal and/or technical definitions (e.g., wetlands, wilderness, critical habitat) that may require a consultant to confirm.

Supplemental environmental information. As with Form RD-1940-20, the level of information will vary greatly depending on your project. Most energy efficiency upgrades will not require this step, but other projects with large physical footprints (wind, geothermal power, hydropower, biomass) should have gone through the necessary analysis and permitting to answer these questions in full.

Organizational documents. Provide a copy of your legal organizational documents, including partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, by-laws, etc.

In Idaho, you can find your incorporation information at Access Idaho. The USDA-Idaho office merely wants proof that you are legally incorporated, and does not require articles of incorporation or by-laws. In Oregon, you can find your incorporation information at the Oregon Secretary of State website. In Washington, visit the Washington Secretary of State website. And in Montana, visit the Montana Secretary of State website.

Project summary. You should have already provided information on the points in this summary elsewhere in your application. You can provide a very brief summary of these points here, and refer to the relevant pages in your application for further information.

Financial information: Applicants must provide balance sheets and income statements covering the last three full years of activity, a financial statement (balance sheet, income statement) completed within the previous 90 days, and a projection of project finances, including income statements and cash flow statements, and a balance sheet projected at the start of the project, and assuming receipt of requested REAP funds.

Matching funds spreadsheet. Remember that you do not need to have all of these funds in hand. For example, if you have applications pending for other government incentives, then you can label these sources as "pending" rather than "available" as long as you can prove that you have sent in such applications.

Since REAP grants are provided upon completion of a project, you must also show that you have the "interim" funds available for the duration of the project preparation. Note that "in-kind" contributions by the applicant, including labor, is limited to 10% or less of total project costs, with the remainder in cash or credit.

The linked form includes references to the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit and the Energy Trust of Oregon. Note that if are not in Oregon, then these incentives do not apply. However, you can find out about you own state’s incentives.

Self-evaluation score sheet. We discuss the REAP evaluation process below.

2.2.2.2. TECHNICAL REPORT

Technical reports differ based on whether you are planning an energy efficiency technical report or a renewable energy technical report.

2.2.2.2.1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY TECHNICAL REPORT

Unlike projects at or below $200,000, larger projects must have energy audits included in project applications.

A technical report of any project size should include information on:

  • Qualifications of key project service providers. This includes contact information, years of related experience, and number of similar projects completed. Personnel include auditors, engineers, contractors, equipment suppliers, and project managers.
  • Relevant agreements, permits and certifications. For energy efficiency, this could include building permits and electrical permits. You must provide copies of these documents.
  • Energy audit. An energy audit is required for projects above $50,000 in total costs. The audit should detail current energy use and the energy to be saved by each measure, in terms of reduced power, gas, and other fuel (e.g., propane) use. The audit should include a ranking of cost-effective efficiency opportunities.
  • Design and engineering specifications. This includes components, materials and/or systems to be used. List suppliers including model numbers for the equipment. You must provide documents covering design and engineering specs, including process flowcharts (if relevant).
  • Development schedule. Break out the different steps in the project (equipment orders, equipment receipt, construction and completion).
  • Economic assessment of the project. Include information on equipment and service costs, projected energy savings per year (e.g., kilowatt-hours per year), planned incentives (including REAP, as well as other federal, state and utility incentives), and cost of the avoided energy use (e.g., cents per kilowatt-hour).
  • Operations and maintenance plan. Spell out and provide documentation of equipment life, and equipment and service warranties. Indicate if you have identified someone to address maintenance. You must provide warranty documentation in your application.
  • Dismantling and disposal of project components. You must agree to dispose of equipment safely.
  • Technical worksheet.

2.2.2.2.2. RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNICAL REPORT

Renewable energy technical reports are specific to the type of renewable energy resource and conversion technology. For projects above $400,000, USDA requires the services of licensed professional engineers. For projects above $1,200,000, USDA requires all technical reports to be reviewed by an independent professional engineer who will provide an opinion and recommendation.

Technical reports under the full application for each category of renewable energy system cover the same themes as technical reports under the simplified application. However, instructions for technical reports under the full application tend to be more detailed in outlining the details to be covered. The added detail is not as significant for more simple projects such as solar electric, but can be significant for more complex projects such as biomass.

Biomass
Anaerobic digester
Geothermal, electric
Geothermal, direct use
Hydropower
Hydrogen
Solar, hot water
Solar, small electric (≤10kw)
Solar, large electric (>10kw)
Wind, small (≤100kw)
Wind, large (>100kw)
Independent feasibility study. This study must be completed by an independent consultant who does not have a conflict of interest with the project, applicant, and consultants and suppliers involved in the project. Consultants can include industry association consultants, industry experts, local Small Business Development Centers, specialized CPA’s, and specialty appraisers. The issues to be covered in the analysis are based on the scope of Appendix A of RD Instruction 4279-B (PDF), including economic feasibility, market feasibility, technical feasibility, financial feasibility and management feasibility.

2.3 EVALUATION REPORT: SYSTEM GRANTS

REAP funding applications undergo an extensive scoring process. This process applies to both your self-scoring as well as the USDA’s subsequent review of your application. The scoring criteria, a list of subcriteria, and the maximum scores for REAP system grant applications are as follows:

REAP SYSTEM GRANT SCORING METHOD

Criteria Maximum Points Subcriteria
Quantity of Energy Replaced, Produced or Saved. Projects can receive points for only one of the categories to the right, though energy efficiency projects can earn points from both energy savings and the energy audit bonus. 15 (+ 5 extra points) Energy replacement (renewable energy). The system is intended primarily for self use. Up to 25% = 5 points. 25% to 50% = 10 points. Greater than 50% = 15 points.
Energy savings (energy efficiency). Project saves at least 20% and up to (but not including) 30% = 5 points. Project saves 30% up to (but not including) 35% = 10 points. Project saves 35% or greater = 15 points.
Energy audit bonus (energy efficiency). Performed instead of an energy assessment for projects of $50,000 or less = 5 additional points
Energy generation (renewable energy). The system produces 150% or more of the site’s energy use = 15 points.
Environmental benefits. Project contributes to environmental goals and objectives of other Federal, state or local programs. 10  
Commercial availability. Technology is currently commercially available. 5 Commercially available or replicable = 5 points
Major components have a warranty of 5 years or longer = 5 points
Technical merit. Based on USDA review of technical report. 35  
Readiness (Grants only). Availability of written commitments of matching funds. 15 50% up to (but not including) 75% of matching funds = 5 points. 75% up to (but not including) 100% of matching funds = 10 points. 100% of matching funds = 15 points.
Small agricultural producer or very small rural business. Applicants can earn points based on only one of the categories to the right. 10 Small agricultural producer with less than $600,000 but more than $200,000 of gross sales in previous year = 5 points. Small agricultural producer with less than $200,000 of gross sales in previous year = 10 points.
Very small rural business with less than 15 employees and less than $1 million in annual receipts = 10 points.
Simplified application. Project is eligible for simplified application due to $200,000 or less in total project costs. 5  
Prior REAP funding. Applicant has not been awarded REAP grants or loans within the 2 previous completed Federal fiscal years. 5  
Return on investment (simple, non-discounted payback calculation). Include other incentives you plan to use such as utility incentives. 10 8 to 11 years = 2 points. 4 to (but not including) 8 years = 4 points. Less than 4 years = 10 points.
Loan rate (REAP loans only). Loan rate is below the Prime Rate or below the Prime Rate plus 1%. 10  
TOTAL POINTS – REAP GRANTS 115  
TOTAL POINTS – REAP LOANS 110  

Now that you know the maximum points possible for each criterion, you can put together the necessary details to reach the highest score possible. We discuss some ways to meet each criterion below.

DOCUMENTATION FOR REAP SYSTEM GRANT SCORING

Scoring category Useful information to include in application
Energy replacement Estimate how much energy was used over a 12-month period, and compare this with the project’s estimated generation. Use the same units (Btus, kilowatt-hours) for the comparison.
Energy audit bonus The audit must be completed by an independent third-party (including your utility) and not the vendor, unless the utility provides a written statement that they accept the vendor’s audit as legitimate.
Environmental benefits. You can refer to your state’s clean energy goals in your application. For example:
  • Washington applicants can refer to the state’s Energy Independence Act
  • Oregon renewable energy applicants can refer to the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard
  • Oregon energy efficiency applicants can refer to the state’s House Bill 3543 outlining greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • Idaho applicants can ask the state’s USDA office to request a letter from the Idaho Office of Energy Resources stating that the project promotes the state’s clean energy goals
  • Montana renewable energy applicants can refer to the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.
Technical merit. Since applicants will not know how reviewers score technical reports, they should enter the full points for technical merit under the self-scoring portion of the application.
Small Agricultural Producer or Very Small Rural Business. Go to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Size Standards website and determine your business’s applicability based on your business’s industry classification.

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