USDA Rural Development invests $500,000 to help rural business owners with energy grants

(Photo: Colorado State University)

United States Department of Agriculture State Director for Rural Development Armando Valdez recently announced that USDA is awarding two grants to Colorado entities through the USDA Rural Energy for America Technical Assistance Grant Program.

The TAG Program provides awardees funding to provide technical assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses applying to REAP, with priority for applicants assisting distressed or disadvantaged communities and for Applicants pursuing projects using underutilized technologies or seeking grants under $20,000.

Colorado Department of Agriculture will receive a $300,000 TAG grant to assist with their Agricultural Energy Renovation Opportunities program. The program will target the three project types: underutilized technologies, projects in distressed or disadvantaged communities, and projects requesting $20,000 or less in REAP funding over a three-year period. Applications will be for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. The AERO Project will also provide technical reports to pre-qualify projects for REAP grant applications.

Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association will receive a $200,000 TAG grant to recruit small businesses and agricultural producers over a two-year period to receive energy assessments that meet the technical requirements of USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.  In addition, the funding will assist small businesses and agricultural producers with technical assistance that results in completion and submission of a REAP application for efficiency improvements.

“These technical assistance grants will provide hands-on support to farmers, ranchers, and rural small business owners seeking federal funds for renewable energy systems, like wind and solar, and energy efficiency measures. These investments not only help producers and small businesses lower energy costs, but also access new markets and strengthen their operations. We greatly encourage farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses to use these technical assistance services provided by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Tri-State. Their contributions support increased investment in Colorado’s rural communities,” said Valdez. Additional information on how to access these resources will be available on our website at