USDA REAP Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program
The Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State (OCED) is utilizing a $75,000 investment from USDA to provide renewable energy development assistance to rural small agricultural producers and other small businesses in eligible areas of the San Joaquin Valley, particularly those of Latino, Hmong and Punjabi descent. The project REAPing Benefits in the San Joaquin Valley started in July 1, 2018 and will continue until June 30, 2019.
Through its San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center (SJVRDC), OCED staff have begun to provide training workshops and 1-on-1 technical assistance to rural small agricultural producers and other small businesses with the preparation of USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP) Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency grant applications. USDA REAP grants are available to small farmers to help them retrofit existing irrigation equipment and water pumps with more energy efficient products. Individualized technical assistance will emerge as a result of multi-lingual and multi-modal marketing and workshops conducted by OCED throughout the region. A minimum of 4 USDA REAP training workshops will be delivered throughout rural communities.
Additionally, OCED staff will facilitate free water pump efficiency audits for rural small agricultural producers submitting USDA REAP Energy Efficiency grant applications by leveraging the PG&E-sponsored Advanced Pumping Efficiency Program at Fresno State and the Kings River Conservation District’s water pump program. Depending on the horsepower of the rural small agricultural producer’s existing water pump, either one of these two options will be selected.
OCED staff have begun outreach efforts via Local county fairs and other community events to reach small businesses in the area with the information needed to request Technical Assistance and submit the USDA REAP Energy Efficiency grant and/or loan application. For those interested in getting additional information please call our office at 559-278-0542.