Sixty participants packed into the Cochise County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room in Arizona recently for a three-hour workshop on how to write applications for solar grants. One attendee came in for the event from Mohave County, some 400 miles away.
Sponsored by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ Office, in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, the workshop brought in additional presenters from the Arizona Energy Office and businesses that specialize in solar projects.
Tom Alston, a member of Giffords’ Solar Hot Team, moderated the event. Following the presentations, participants had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the panelists and actually walk through the grant application process.
Alan Watt, USDA Rural Development’s Energy Coordinator for Arizona, said 15 to 20 folks expressed interest in completing applications for the agency’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant. He provided folks with a template for completing the application and a sample completed fictitious application which they could take home for reference.
Last fiscal year, USDA Rural Development funded eight REAP grant projects in Arizona, seven of those for photovoltaic systems—a natural fit for Arizona’s abundant sunshine.
The deadline to apply for Rural Energy for America funding is rapidly approaching. To read the Federal Register notice, click here.