The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) awarded the University of Oregon $100,000 for its Rural Energy Development for Oregon program proposal. The grant was the largest given out of the $1 million dispersed across 17 states and Puerto Rico.
The UO applied to the grant through Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE), Oregon’s AmeriCorps program, housed in the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE) in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM).
With the grant, RARE will partner with the Seattle nonprofit Spark Northwest and rural small businesses, farmers, and agricultural producers throughout the state to increase renewable energy generation. (See map of proposed sites below.)
“Over 24 months, RARE and Spark Northwest will work together to evaluate renewable energy opportunities and provide renewable energy development assistance directly to rural small businesses, farms, agritourism operators, and agriculture producers across the state,” RARE outlined in its grant application. “The project will provide education to engage with at least 150 farmers and small businesses about energy opportunities, provide project-specific consultations for at least 40 of these entities, and shepherd at least 20 energy projects successfully through the development phase.”
Read more about the grant program in the Capital Press article, “USDA grants to help farms, businesses cut energy costs.”