[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 13 (Friday, January 20, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2948-2954]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-755]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Business-Cooperative Service


Notice of Funding Availability for the Rural Energy for America 
Program

AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

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SUMMARY: This NOFA announces the acceptance of applications under the 
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Fiscal Year 2012 for 
financial assistance as follows: grants, guaranteed loans, and combined 
grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of 
renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement 
projects; grants for conducting energy audits; grants for conducting 
renewable energy development assistance; and grants for conducting 
renewable energy system feasibility studies. The Notice also announces 
the availability of $25.4 million of Fiscal Year 2012 budget authority 
to fund these REAP activities, which will support at least $12.5 
million in grant program level and up to approximately $48.5 million in 
guaranteed loan program level.

DATES: In order to be considered for Fiscal Year 2012 funds, complete 
applications under this Notice must be received by the appropriate USDA 
Rural Development State Office no later than 4:30 p.m. local time of 
the dates as follows:
    For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant 
applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications: 
March 30, 2012.
    For renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement 
guaranteed loan only applications: On a continuous basis up to June 29, 
2012.
    For renewable energy system feasibility study applications: March 
30, 2012.
    For energy audits and renewable energy development assistance 
applications: February 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for addresses concerning 
applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 
2012 funds.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this Notice, 
please contact Mr. Kelley Oehler, Branch Chief, USDA Rural Development, 
Energy Division, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. 
Telephone: (202) 720-6819. Email: [email protected].
    For further information on this program, please contact the 
applicable USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator for your 
respective State, as provided in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section 
of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Fiscal Year 2012 Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program

    Applications. Application materials may be obtained by contacting 
one of Rural Development's Energy Coordinators. In addition, for grant 
applications, applicants may access the electronic grant application 
for the Rural Energy for America Program at http://www.Grants.gov. To 
locate the downloadable application package for this program, the 
applicant must use the program's Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA) Number 10.868 or FedGrants Funding Opportunity Number, which can 
be found at http://www.Grants.gov.
    Application submittal. For renewable energy system, energy 
efficiency improvement, and feasibility study applications, submit 
complete paper applications to the Rural Development State Office in 
the State in which the applicant's proposed project is located. For 
energy audit and renewable energy development assistance applications, 
submit complete paper applications to the Rural Development State 
Office in the State in which the applicant is headquartered.
    Submit electronic grant only applications at http://www.grants.gov, 
following the instructions found on this Web site.

Rural Development Energy Coordinators

    Note: Telephone numbers listed are not toll-free.

Alabama

Marcia Johnson, USDA Rural Development, Sterling Centre, Suite 601, 
4121 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106-3683, (334) 279-3453, 
[email protected].

Alaska

Chad Stovall, USDA Rural Development, 800 West Evergreen, Suite 201, 
Palmer, AK 99645-6539, (907) 761-7718, [email protected].

American Samoa (See Hawaii)

Arizona

Gary Mack, USDA Rural Development, 230 North First Avenue, Suite 206,

[[Page 2949]]

Phoenix, AZ 85003-1706, (602) 280-8717, [email protected].

Arkansas

Laura Tucker, USDA Rural Development, 700 West Capitol Avenue, Room 
3416, Little Rock, AR 72201-3225, (501) 301-3280, 
[email protected].

California

Philip Brown, USDA Rural Development, 430 G Street, 4169, 
Davis, CA 95616, (530) 792-5811, [email protected].

Colorado

Janice Pond, USDA Rural Development, Denver Federal Center, Building 
56, Room 2300, P.O. Box 25426, Denver, CO 80225-0426, (720) 544-2907, 
[email protected].

Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands-CNMI (See Hawaii)

Connecticut (see Massachusetts)

Delaware/Maryland

Bruce Weaver, USDA Rural Development, 1221 College Park Drive, Suite 
200, Dover, DE 19904, (302) 857-3629, [email protected].

Federated States of Micronesia (See Hawaii)

Florida/Virgin Islands

Angela Prioleau, USDA Rural Development, 4440 NW. 25th Place, 
Gainesville, FL 32606, (352) 338-3412, [email protected].

Georgia

J. Craig Scroggs, USDA Rural Development, 111 E. Spring St., Suite B, 
Monroe, GA 30655, Phone (770) 267-1413 ext. 113, 
[email protected].

Guam (See Hawaii)

Hawaii/Guam/Republic of Palau/Federated States of Micronesia/Republic 
of the Marshall Islands/American Samoa/Commonwealth of the Northern 
Marianas Islands-CNMI
Tim O'Connell, USDA Rural Development, Federal Building, Room 311, 154 
Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720, (808) 933-8313, 
[email protected].

Idaho

Brian Buch, USDA Rural Development, 9173 W. Barnes Drive, Suite A1, 
Boise, ID 83709, (208) 378-5623, [email protected].

Illinois

Mary Warren, USDA Rural Development, 2118 West Park Court, Suite A, 
Champaign, IL 61821, (217) 403-6218, [email protected].

Indiana

Jerry Hay, USDA Rural Development, 5975 Lakeside Boulevard, 
Indianapolis, IN 46278, (812) 346-3411, Ext. 126, 
[email protected].

Iowa

Kate Sand, USDA Rural Development, 909 E. 2nd Avenue, Suite C, 
Indianola, IA 50125, (515) 961-5365 Ext.130, [email protected].

Kansas

David Kramer, USDA Rural Development, 1303 SW First American Place, 
Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66604-4040, (785) 271-2730, 
[email protected].

Kentucky

Scott Maas, USDA Rural Development, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, 
Lexington, KY 40503, (859) 224-7435, [email protected].

Louisiana

Kevin Boone, USDA Rural Development, 905 Jefferson Street, Suite 320, 
Lafayette, LA 70501, (337) 262-6601, Ext. 133, [email protected].

Maine

Beverly Stone, USDA Rural Development, 967 Illinois Avenue, Suite 4, 
P.O. Box 405, Bangor, ME 04402-0405, (207) 990-9125, 
[email protected].

Maryland (see Delaware)

Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Connecticut

Charles W. Dubuc, USDA Rural Development, 60 Quaker Lane, Suite 44, 
Warwick, RI 02886, (401) 822-8867, [email protected].

Michigan

Rick Vanderbeek, USDA Rural Development, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 200, 
East Lansing, MI 48823, (517) 324-5157, [email protected].

Minnesota

Ron Oman, USDA Rural Development, 375 Jackson St., Suite 410, St. Paul, 
MN 55101, (651) 602-7796, [email protected].

Mississippi

G. Gary Jones, USDA Rural Development, 100 W. Capital Street, Suite 
831, Jackson, MS 39269, (601) 965-5457, [email protected].

Missouri

Matt Moore, USDA Rural Development, 601 Business Loop 70 West, Parkade 
Center, Suite 235, Columbia, MO 65203, (573) 876-9321, 
[email protected].

Montana

John Guthmiller, USDA Rural Development, 2229 Boot Hill Court, P.O. Box 
850, Bozeman, MT 59771, (406) 585-2540, [email protected].

Nebraska

Debra Yocum, USDA Rural Development, 100 Centennial Mall North, Room 
152, Federal Building, Lincoln, NE 68508, (402) 437-5554, 
[email protected].

Nevada

Mark Williams, USDA Rural Development, 1390 South Curry Street, Carson 
City, NV 89703, (775) 887-1222, [email protected].

New Hampshire (See Vermont)

New Jersey

Victoria Fekete, USDA Rural Development, 8000 Midlantic Drive, Suite 
500N, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054, (856) 787-7752, 
[email protected].

New Mexico

Jesse Bopp, USDA Rural Development, 6200 Jefferson Street, NE., Room 
255, Albuquerque, NM 87109, (505) 761-4952, [email protected].

New York

Scott Collins, USDA Rural Development, 9025 River Road, Marcy, NY 
13403, (315) 736-3316 Ext. 127, [email protected].

North Carolina

David Thigpen, USDA Rural Development, 4405 Bland Rd., Suite 260, 
Raleigh, NC 27609, (919) 873-2065, [email protected].

North Dakota

Dennis Rodin, USDA Rural Development, Federal Building, Room 208, 220 
East Rosser Avenue, P.O. Box 1737, Bismarck, ND 58502-1737, (701) 530-
2068, [email protected].

Ohio

Randy Monhemius, USDA Rural Development, Federal Building, Room 507, 
200 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-2418, (614) 255-2424, 
[email protected].

[[Page 2950]]

Oklahoma

Jody Harris, USDA Rural Development, 100 USDA, Suite 108, Stillwater, 
OK 74074-2654, (405) 742-1036, [email protected].

Oregon

Don Hollis, USDA Rural Development, 200 SE Hailey Ave., Suite 105, 
Pendleton, OR 97801, (541) 278-8049, Ext. 129, [email protected].

Pennsylvania

Amanda Krugh, USDA Rural Development, 1 Credit Union Place, Suite 330, 
Harrisburg, PA 17110-2996, Phone: (717) 237-2289, 
[email protected].

Puerto Rico

Luis Garcia, USDA Rural Development, IBM Building, 654 Munoz Rivera 
Avenue, Suite 601, Hato Rey, PR 00918-6106, (787) 766-5091, Ext. 251, 
[email protected].

Republic of Palau (See Hawaii)

Republic of the Marshall Islands (See Hawaii)

Rhode Island (see Massachusetts)

South Carolina

Shannon Legree, USDA Rural Development, Strom Thurmond Federal 
Building, 1835 Assembly Street, Room 1007, Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 
253-3150, [email protected]c.usda.gov.

South Dakota

Kenneth Lynch, USDA Rural Development, Federal Building, Room 210, 200 
4th Street SW., Huron, SD 57350, (605) 352-1120, [email protected].

Tennessee

Will Dodson, USDA Rural Development, 3322 West End Avenue, Suite 300, 
Nashville, TN 37203-1084, (615) 783-1350, [email protected].

Texas

Billy Curb, USDA Rural Development, Federal Building, Suite 102, 101 
South Main Street, Temple, TX 76501, (254) 742-9775, 
[email protected].

Utah

Roger Koon, USDA Rural Development, Wallace F. Bennett Federal 
Building, 125 South State Street, Room 4311, Salt Lake City, UT 84138, 
(801) 524-4301, [email protected].

Vermont/New Hampshire

Cheryl Ducharme, USDA Rural Development, 89 Main Street, 3rd Floor, 
Montpelier, VT 05602, (802) 828-6083, [email protected].

Virginia

Laurette Tucker, USDA Rural Development, 1606 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 
238, Richmond, VA 23229, (434) 392-4906 Ext. 125, (804) 287-1606, 
[email protected].

Virgin Islands (see Florida)

Washington

Mary Traxler, USDA Rural Development, 1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW., Suite 
B, Olympia, WA 98512, (360) 704-7762, [email protected].

West Virginia

Lisa Sharp, USDA Rural Development, 1550 Earl Core Road, Suite 101, 
Morgantown, WV 26505-7500, (304) 284-4871, [email protected].

Wisconsin

Brenda Heinen, USDA Rural Development, 4949 Kirschling Court, Stevens 
Point, WI 54481, (715) 345-7615, Ext. 139, [email protected].

Wyoming

Jon Crabtree, USDA Rural Development, Dick Cheney Federal Building, 100 
East B Street, Room 1005, P.O. Box 11005, Casper, WY 82602, (307) 233-
6719, [email protected].

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
information collection requirements associated with renewable energy 
system and energy efficiency improvement grants and guaranteed loans, 
as covered in this Notice, has been approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570-0050. The 
information collection requirements associated with energy audit and 
renewable energy development assistance grants and with renewable 
energy feasibility study grants have also been approved by OMB under 
OMB Control Number 0570-0059 and OMB Control Number 0570-0061, 
respectively.

Overview

    Federal Agency Name: Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    Contract Proposal Title: Rural Energy for America Program.
    Announcement Type: Initial announcement.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.868.
    Dates: Grant applications and combined grant and guaranteed loan 
applications for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency 
improvement projects under this Notice will be accepted up to March 30, 
2012. Guaranteed loan only applications for renewable energy system and 
energy efficiency improvement projects will be accepted on a continuous 
basis, but to compete for Fiscal Year 2012 funding, complete 
applications must be submitted to the Agency by June 29, 2012. 
Applications for renewable energy feasibility studies will be accepted 
up to March 30, 2012. Energy audit and renewable energy development 
assistance grants will be accepted up to February 21, 2012.
    For all applications submitted under this Notice, complete 
applications must be received by the appropriate USDA Rural Development 
State Office no later than 4:30 p.m. local time of the applicable 
application deadline date in order to be considered for Fiscal Year 
2012 funds. Any application received after its applicable date and 
time, regardless of the postmark on the application, will not be 
considered for Fiscal Year 2012 funds.
    Availability of Notice: This Notice for the Rural Energy for 
America Program is available through the USDA Rural Development Web 
site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Energy.html.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    A. Purpose of the Rural Energy for America Program. The program is 
designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses 
reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical 
energy needs.
    B. Statutory Authority. This program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 
8107.
    C. Definition of Terms. The definitions applicable to this Notice 
are published at 7 CFR 4280.103. In addition, the following definition 
applies to this Notice.
    Hybrid. A combination of two or more renewable energy technologies 
that are incorporated into a unified system to support a single 
project.

II. Award Information

    A. Available funds. The amount of funds available for renewable 
energy systems and energy efficiency improvements in Fiscal Year 2012 
will be approximately $59.6 million. For renewable energy system and 
energy efficiency improvement projects only, there will be an 
allocation of funds to each State, and the Rural Development's National 
Office will maintain a reserve of funds.

[[Page 2951]]

    The amount of grant funds available for renewable energy system 
feasibility studies in Fiscal Year 2012 will be $500,000. The balance 
of the funds unused for the feasibility study grants may be utilized in 
any of the renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement 
National competitions.
    The amount of funds available for energy audits and renewable 
energy development assistance in Fiscal Year 2012 will be $880,000. 
Obligations of these funds will take place through March 31, 2012. Any 
unobligated balances will be moved to the renewable energy subsidy 
account as of April 1, 2012. These funds may be utilized in any of the 
renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement National 
competitions. In order to ensure that small projects have a fair 
opportunity to compete for the funding and are consistent with the 
priorities set forth in the statute, the Agency will set-aside 
approximately $5 million to fund grants of $20,000 or less. Obligations 
of these funds will take place through June 30, 2012. Any unobligated 
balances will be moved to the renewable energy subsidy account as of 
July 1, 2012. These funds may be utilized in any of the renewable 
energy system and energy efficiency improvement National competitions.
    B. Approximate number of awards. The number of awards will depend 
on the amount of funds made available and on the number of eligible 
applicants participating in this program.
    C. State and National competitions. Renewable energy system and 
energy efficiency improvement applications for Fiscal Year 2012 funds 
will compete for funds allocated to their State for competition. 
Separate competitions will be held for (1) grant only and grant and 
guaranteed loan combination applications; (2) grants of $20,000 or less 
applications, and (3) guaranteed loan only applications. Grant only and 
grant and guaranteed loan combination applications and grants of 
$20,000 or less applications will each have one State competition. All 
unfunded eligible grant only and grant and guaranteed loan combination 
applications received by March 30, 2011, will be competed against other 
grant only and grant and guaranteed loan combination applications from 
other States at a final National competition. However, the Agency 
reserves the right to hold a separate National competition for grants 
of $20,000 or less if funding remains after the State competition. 
Obligations of these funds will take place through June 30, 2012. State 
competitions will be held bi-weekly for guaranteed loan only 
applications. A minimum score of 50 is required for guaranteed loan 
only applications to compete in the State competitions. If a State does 
not have sufficient funds to make a guaranteed loan award, funding may 
be obtained from the guaranteed loan reserves held at the National 
Office. The guaranteed loan application will not have to compete any 
further. Finally, all unfunded eligible guaranteed loan only 
applications received by June 29, 2011, will be competed against other 
guaranteed loan only applications from other States at a final National 
competition if the guaranteed loan reserves have not been completely 
depleted. If funds remain after the final guaranteed loan only National 
competition, the Agency may elect to utilize budget authority to fund 
additional grant only and grant and guaranteed loan combination 
applications that competed in the National competition. Renewable 
energy system feasibility study grant applications and energy audits 
and renewable energy development assistance grant applications will 
compete in separate National competitions.
    D. Type of instrument. Grant, guaranteed loan, and grant/guaranteed 
loan combinations.
    E. Funding limitations. The following funding limitations apply to 
applications submitted under to this Notice.
    (1) Maximum grant assistance to an entity. For the purposes of this 
Notice, the maximum amount of grant assistance to an entity will not 
exceed $750,000 for Fiscal Year 2012 based on the total amount of 
renewable energy system, energy efficiency improvement, and renewable 
energy feasibility study grants awarded to an entity under the Rural 
Energy for America Program.
    (2) Maximum percentage of Agency funding. The Food, Conservation, 
and Energy Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-234, 122 Stat. 93 (May 22, 
2008) (2008 Farm Bill) mandates the maximum percentages of funding that 
USDA Rural Development will provide. Within the maximum funding amounts 
specified in this Notice, renewable energy system and energy efficiency 
improvement funding approved for guaranteed loan only requests and for 
combination guaranteed loan and grant requests will not exceed 75 
percent of eligible project costs, with the grant portion not to exceed 
25 percent of total eligible project costs, whether the grant is part 
of a combination request or is a stand-alone grant.
    (3) Reallocation of loan and grants funds. The Agency reserves the 
right, at its discretion, to move funds between grant and loan budget 
authority based upon the demand of applications received under this 
Notice after June 29, 2012.
    (4) Universal identifier and Central Contract Registration (CCR). 
Unless exempt under 2 CFR Sec.  25.110, all applicants must:
    (a) Be registered in the CCR prior to submitting an application or 
plan;
    (b) Maintain an active CCR registration with current information at 
all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application 
or plan under consideration by the Agency; and
    (c) Provide its DUNS number in each application or plan it submits 
to the Agency.
    (5) Transparency Act Reporting. All recipients of Federal financial 
assistance are required to report information about first-tier 
subawards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. 
So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 
section 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and 
systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the 
applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR section 170.200(b).
    (6) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement 
grant-only applications. For renewable energy system grants, the 
minimum grant is $2,500 and the maximum is $500,000. For energy 
efficiency improvement grants, the minimum grant is $1,500 and the 
maximum grant is $250,000.
    (7) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan 
guarantee-only applications. For renewable energy system and energy 
efficiency improvement loan guarantees, the minimum guaranteed loan 
amount is $5,000 and the maximum amount of a guaranteed loan to be 
provided to a borrower is $25 million.
    (8) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement 
guaranteed loan and grant combination applications. Funding for grant 
and loan combination packages for renewable energy systems and energy 
efficiency improvement projects are subject to the funding limitations 
specified in Section II.E.(2). The maximum amount for the grant portion 
is $500,000 for renewable energy systems and $250,000 for energy 
efficiency improvements. The minimum amount of the grant portion is 
$1,500 for either renewable energy systems or energy efficiency 
improvements. For the guarantee portion, the maximum amount is $25 
million and the minimum amount is $5,000.
    (9) Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications. 
The maximum amount of grant funds that will be made available for an 
eligible

[[Page 2952]]

feasibility study project under this subpart to any one recipient will 
not exceed $50,000 or 25 percent of the total eligible project cost of 
the study, whichever is less.
    (10) Energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grant 
applications. The maximum aggregate amount of energy audit and 
renewable energy development assistance grants awarded to any one 
recipient under this Notice cannot exceed $100,000 for Fiscal Year 
2012. In addition, the 2008 Farm Bill mandates that the recipient of a 
grant that conducts an energy audit for an agricultural producer or a 
rural small business must require the agricultural producer or rural 
small business to pay at least 25 percent of the cost of the energy 
audit, which shall be retained by the eligible entity for the cost of 
the audit.

III. Eligibility Information

    A. Eligible applicants. To be eligible for this program, an 
applicant must meet the eligibility requirements specified in 7 CFR 
4280.109, 7 CFR 4280.110(c), and, as applicable, 7 CFR 4280.112, 7 CFR 
4280.122, 7 CFR 4280.170, or 7 CFR 4280.186.
    For the purpose of this Notice, and in addition to meeting the 
small business size determination as defined under small business in 7 
CFR 4280.103, rural small business applicants must demonstrate that the 
majority (i.e. 51 percent or more) of their past 3 years' annual 
receipts from their business operation are derived from a rural area. 
If the rural small business applicant has not engaged in business 
operations for the past 3 years, than information for as long as the 
rural small business applicant has been in business must be submitted. 
To ensure that there is sufficient information for the Agency to make 
this determination; rural small business applicants, as part of their 
application requirements in 7 CFR 4280.116 (b)(v)(A), should list the 
physical address, total annual receipts and number of employees for 
each urban or rural location. The Agency will make this determination 
for rural small business applicants that do not have any annual 
receipts (new businesses only) on the location of the rural small 
business applicant.
    B. Eligible lenders. To be eligible for this program, lenders must 
meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4280.130.
    C. Eligible projects. To be eligible for this program, a project 
must meet the eligibility requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.113, 7 
CFR 4280.123, 7 CFR 4280.171, and 7 CFR 4280.187, as applicable.

IV. Fiscal Year 2012 Application and Submission Information

    Applicants seeking to participate in this program must submit 
applications in accordance with this Notice and 7 CFR part 4280, 
subpart B, as applicable. Applicants must submit complete applications 
containing all parts necessary for the Agency to determine applicant 
and project eligibility, to score the application, and to conduct the 
technical evaluation, as applicable in order to be considered.

A. Where To Obtain Applications

    Applicants may obtain applications from any USDA Rural Development 
Energy Coordinator, as provided in the ADDRESSES section of this 
Notice. In addition, for grant applications, applicants may access the 
electronic grant application for the Rural Energy for America Program 
at http://www.Grants.gov. To locate the downloadable application 
package for this program, the applicant must use the program's CFDA 
Number 10.868 or FedGrants Funding Opportunity Number, which can be 
found at http://www.Grants.gov.
    When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about 
submitting an application electronically through the site. To use 
Grants.gov, all applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data 
Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number (unless the applicant is an 
individual), which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request 
line at 1 (866) 705-5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. 
USDA Rural Development strongly recommends that applicants do not wait 
until the application deadline date to begin the application process 
through Grants.gov.

B. When To Submit

    Complete applications submitted under this Notice must be received 
by the appropriate USDA Rural Development State Office no later than 
4:30 p.m. local time on the applicable date as identified in the DATES 
section of this Notice, in order to be considered for Fiscal Year 2012 
funds. Any application received after 4:30 p.m. local time on the 
applicable date, regardless of the postmark on the application, will 
not be considered for Fiscal Year 2012 funds.

C. Where To Submit

    All renewable energy system, energy efficiency improvement, and 
renewable energy system feasibility study applications are to be 
submitted to the USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator in the State 
in which the applicant's proposed project is located. All energy audit 
and renewable energy development assistance applications are to be 
submitted to the USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator in the State 
in which the applicant is headquartered. A list of USDA Rural 
Development Energy Coordinators is provided in the ADDRESSES section of 
this Notice. Alternatively, for grant only applications, applicants may 
submit their electronic applications to the Agency via the Grants.gov 
Web site.

D. How To Submit

    Applicants may submit their applications either as hard copy or 
electronically as specified in the following paragraphs. When 
submitting an application as hard copy, applicants must submit one 
original.
    (1) Grant applications. All grant applications may be submitted 
either as hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Energy 
Coordinator or electronically using the Government-wide Grants.gov Web 
site. Users of Grants.gov who download a copy of the application 
package may complete it off line and then upload and submit the 
application via the Grants.gov site, including all information 
typically included on the application, and all necessary assurances and 
certifications. After electronically submitting an application through 
the Web site, the applicant will receive an automated acknowledgement 
from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number.
    (2) Guaranteed loan applications. Guaranteed loan only applications 
(i.e., those that are not part of a guaranteed loan/grant combination 
request) must be submitted as hard copy.
    (3) Guaranteed loan/grant combination applications. Applications 
for guaranteed loans/grants (combination applications) must be 
submitted as hard copy.

E. Other Submission Requirements and Information

    (1) Application restrictions. Applicants may apply for only one 
renewable energy system project and one energy efficiency improvement 
project in Fiscal Year 2012. A renewable energy system application 
cannot be submitted in Fiscal Year 2012 if a REAP feasibility study 
grant application for the same renewable energy system is submitted in 
Fiscal Year 2012 and vice versa.
    Applicants may only submit one renewable energy system feasibility 
study grant for Fiscal Year 2012 funds.
    Applicants may only submit one energy audit grant application and 
one renewable energy development

[[Page 2953]]

assistance grant application for Fiscal Year 2012 funds.
    (2) Environmental information. For the Agency to consider an 
application, the application must include all environmental review 
documents with supporting documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 
1940, subpart G. Applications for financial assistance for planning 
purposes or management and feasibility studies are typically 
categorically excluded from the environmental review process by 7 CFR 
1940.310(e)(1). Any required environmental review must be completed in 
full prior to obligation of funds or the approval of the application.
    (3) Original signatures. USDA Rural Development may request that 
the applicant provide original signatures on forms submitted through 
Grants.gov at a later date.
    (4) Award considerations. In determining the amount of a renewable 
energy system or energy efficiency improvement grant or loan guarantee, 
the Agency will consider the six criteria specified in 7 CFR 
4280.115(g) or 7 CFR 4280.124(f), as applicable.
    (5) Hybrid projects. If the application is for a hybrid project, 
technical reports, as required under 7 CFR 4280.116(b)(7), must be 
prepared for each technology that comprises the hybrid project.
    (6) Multiple facilities. Applicants may submit a single application 
that proposes to apply the same renewable energy system (including the 
same hybrid project) or energy efficiency improvement across multiple 
facilities. For example, a rural small business owner owns five retail 
stores and wishes to install solar panels on each store. The rural 
small business owner may submit a single application for installing the 
solar panels on the five stores. However, if this same owner wishes to 
install solar panels on three of the five stores and wind turbines for 
the other two stores, the owner can only submit an application for 
either the solar panels or for the wind turbines in the same fiscal 
year.
    (7) Applications from cooperatives. In recognition of the 
International Year of Cooperatives, the Agency encourages cooperatives 
to submit applications for Fiscal Year 2012.

V. Program Provisions

    This section of the Notice identifies the provisions of 7 CFR 4280, 
subpart B applicable to each type of funding available under REAP.

A. General

    The provisions specified in 7 CFR 4280.101 through 4280.111 apply 
to this Notice.

B. Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project 
Grants

    In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the 
requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.112 through 4280.121 apply to 
renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement projects 
grants.

C. Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project 
Guaranteed Loans

    In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the 
requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.122 through 4280.160 apply to 
guaranteed loans for renewable energy system and energy efficiency 
improvement projects. For Fiscal Year 2012, the guarantee fee amount is 
1 percent of the guaranteed portion of the loan and the annual renewal 
fee is 0.250 percent (one-quarter of 1 percent) of the guaranteed 
portion of the loan.

D. Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency Improvement Project 
Grant and Guaranteed Loan Combined Requests

    In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the 
requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.165 apply to a combined grant and 
guaranteed loan for renewable energy system and energy efficiency 
improvement projects.

E. Renewable Energy System Feasibility Study Grants

    In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the 
requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.170 through 4280.182 apply to 
renewable energy system feasibility study grants.

F. Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants

    In addition to the other provisions of this Notice, the 
requirements specified in 7 CFR 4280.186 through 4820.196 apply to 
energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants.

G. Resubmittal of Fiscal Year 2011 Renewable Energy System and Energy 
Efficiency Improvement Applications

    If an applicant submitted an application for funding in Fiscal Year 
2011 and that application was determined eligible but was not funded, 
the Agency will consider that Fiscal Year 2011 application for funding 
in Fiscal Year 2012 as provided in this section.
    (1) Written request. An applicant must submit a written request for 
the Agency to consider its Fiscal Year 2011 application for Fiscal Year 
2012 funds.
    (i) For a guarantee loan and grant combination application, both 
the lender and grant applicant must submit the written request to the 
Agency in order to be considered for Fiscal Year 2012 funds.
    (ii) Except for simplified applications, applicants must provide 
current financial statements that meet the program requirements 
outlined in 7 CFR 4280.116(b)(4) with the written request.
    (iii) Written requests to consider Fiscal Year 2011 applications 
for Fiscal Year 2012 funds may be submitted at any time during Fiscal 
Year 2012, up to and including 4:30 p.m. local time on March 30, 2012, 
to be considered for Fiscal Year 2012 funds. Written requests received 
after this time and date will not be accepted by the Agency and the 
applicant's Fiscal Year 2011 application will not be considered for 
Fiscal Year 2012 funds.
    (2) Revisions/change in score to Fiscal Year 2011 applications. If 
an applicant plans to make any revisions to its Fiscal Year 2011 
application or if the required current financial statements results in 
a change to the application's score (even if no other revisions to the 
Fiscal Year 2011 application are planned), a new application meeting 
the requirements of this Notice must be submitted in order to be 
considered for Fiscal Year 2012 funds and a new submission date of 
record will be established.
    (3) No revisions/changes in score to Fiscal Year 2011 applications. 
If an applicant does not plan to make any revisions to its Fiscal Year 
2011 application and the required current financial statements do not 
result in a change to the application's score, a new application is not 
required and the submission date of record remains unchanged from its 
original Fiscal Year 2011 submittal date.

H. Award Process

    In addition to the process for awarding funding under 7 CFR 4280, 
subpart B, the Agency will make awards using the following 
considerations:
    (1) Funding renewable energy system and energy efficiency 
improvement grant and grant/guaranteed loan awards. Considering the 
availability of funds, the Agency will fund those grant only 
applications and grant/guaranteed loan applications that score the 
highest based on the grant score of the application; that is, the grant 
score an application receives will be compared to the grant scores of 
other applications, with higher scoring applications receiving first 
consideration for funding.
    (2) Guaranteed loan only awards. Considering the availability of 
funds, the Agency will fund those guaranteed loan only applications 
that score the highest compared to the scores of other applications, 
with higher scoring

[[Page 2954]]

applications receiving first consideration for funding.
    (3) Evaluation criteria. Agency personnel will score each 
application based on the evaluation criteria specified in 7 CFR 
4280.117(c), 7 CFR 4280.129(c), 7 CFR 4280.178, or 7 CFR 4280.192, as 
applicable.
    For hybrid applications, each technical report will be evaluated 
and scored based on its own merit. The scores for the technologies will 
be consolidated using a weighted average approach based on the 
percentage of the cost for each system to the total eligible project 
cost.

    Example: A hybrid project contains a wind and solar photovoltaic 
components. The wind system will cost $30,000 (75 percent of total 
eligible project cost) and the solar will cost $10,000 (25 percent 
of total eligible project cost). The wind technical report was 
evaluated and assigned a total score of 22 points, while the solar 
report was evaluated and assigned a total score of 31 points. In 
this scenario, the final technical score would be assigned as 
follows: (22 x 75 percent) + (31 x 25 percent) = 24.25.

    (4) Applications that receive the same score. If applications score 
the same and if remaining funds are insufficient to fund each such 
application, the Agency may distribute the remaining funds to a lower 
scoring application. Before this occurs, the Agency will provide the 
applicant of the higher scoring application the opportunity to reduce 
the amount of the applicant's grant request to the amount of funds 
available. If the applicant agrees to lower its grant request, the 
applicant must certify that the purposes of the project will be met and 
provide the remaining total funds needed to complete the project. At 
its discretion, the Agency may also elect to allow the remaining funds 
to be carried over to the next fiscal year rather than selecting a 
lower scoring application or distributing funds on a pro-rata basis.

VI. Administration Information

A. Notifications

    (1) Applicants. The notification provisions of 7 CFR 4280.111 apply 
to this Notice.
    (2) Lenders. The notification provisions of 7 CFR 4280.129(a) apply 
to this Notice.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    (1) Exception authority. The provisions of 7 CFR 4280.104 apply to 
this Notice.
    (2) Appeals. A person may seek a review of an Agency decision or 
appeal to the National Appeals Division in accordance with 7 CFR 
4280.105.
    (3) Conflict of interest. The provisions of 7 CFR 4280.106 apply to 
this Notice.
    (4) USDA Departmental Regulations and other laws that contains 
other compliance requirements. The provisions of 7 CFR 4280.107 and 7 
CFR 4280.108 apply to this Notice.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For assistance on this program, please contact a USDA Rural 
Development Energy Coordinator, as provided in the ADDRESSES section of 
this Notice.

VIII. Nondiscrimination Statement

    USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where 
applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, 
religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, 
reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived 
from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to 
all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means 
for communication of program information (Braille, large print, 
audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 
(voice and TDD).
    To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, 
Office of Adjudication and Compliance, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-
6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and 
lender.

    Dated: January 11, 2012.
Judith A. Canales,
Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-755 Filed 1-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P