Farmers and rural small-business owners can now apply for more than $99 million in loan guarantees or grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install renewable energy systems. Georgia’s allocation is $10 million for loans and almost $2 million for grants.

Funds may be used to purchase and install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. The maximum grant for renewable energy systems is 25 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $500,000.

Energy efficiency improvement projects are eligible for up to 25 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $250,000.

Feasibility studies now also qualify for grants.

The maximum loan guarantee is 75 percent of eligible project costs, not to exceed $25 million. Combination loan guarantees and grants are also available.

Complete program details are available at the Web site http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill. Applications are due June 30. Those received after the deadline will be considered in 2011.

For more information, contact Craig Scroggs at 404-229-5720 or craig.scroggs@ga.usda.gov; Al Burns at 229-220-5067 or al.burns@ga.usda.gov.