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Understanding Rules for Grant Evaluation

What farmers and ranchers are eligible?

      Applicant entity must:

    • Be 51% or more owned and operated by US citizens or rermanent residents.

    • Directly engage in production of agricultural products so that 50% or more of gross income comes from their operations.

    • Have have been debarred by the Government.

    • Certify that theyhave no known relationship or association with any agency employee of the Rural Development Office of the USDA.

What are eligible costs?

  • Post application purchase & installation of equipment, except agricultural tillage equipment and vehicles.

  • Post application construction or project improvements,

  • Energy audits or assessments
    • Permit & License fees

    • Business plans

    • Technical reports

    • Professional service fees, except for application preparation
    • Feasibility studies if applicable

Guaranteed Loans From the USDA Business Initiative Program
    • Guaranteed loan applications can be submitted anytime

    • Additional eligible costs will be for working capital and land acquisition (guaranteed loans only)
    • $10 million maximum guaranteed loan

    • Can be no more than 50% of total eligible project costs

    • Combination grant and guaranteed loans will also be available

(up to 50% of total eligible costs for Loan & Grant combo)

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Evaluation Criteria Scoring Guideline
  1. Quantity of energy replaced, produced, or saved:
    Energy savings
  2. Environmental benefits:
  3. Commercial availability:
  4. Technical merit:
  5. Readiness: (Grants only)
  6. Small agricultural producer/very small:
  7. Simplified application:
  8. Previous grantee & borrower:
  9. Return on investment:
  10. Loan rate if you are doing a loan and grant combo:
15 points
10 points
10 points
35 points
15 points
10 points
5 points
5 points
10 points
10 points

Components of the Technical Report
    1. Qualifications of the project team

    1. Agreements and Permits

    1. Energy or Resource Assessment

    1. Design and Engineering

    1. Project Development Schedule

    1. Project Economic Assessment

    1. Equipment Procurement

    1. Equipment Installation

    1. Operation and Maintenance

  1. Dismantling & disposal of project components
10 points
5 points
10 points
30 points
5 points
20 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points

Help your clients win grants to buy your products.

The best predictor of the future is the past!

   • In 2008, winning applications scored at or above 84 points (for combination grant/loans) and 92 points (for grants-only).

You or the granter writer can help your client get there by:
    • Getting project support letters from government
    • Helping their bank with the financial forms
    • Getting a 5-year certified warranty
    • Getting an energy audit
    • Correctly filling in all forms

The rest will be based on the quality of work they do!
10 points
10 points
10 points
25 points
25 points
80 points

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Technical Report from Applicant

    1. Qualifications of the project team:    10 points

      Grant application needs to list everyone who is going to be involved and their credentials.
      • Who will be installing the project? (give name, address, phone and their credentials)
      • List all people that work on the Farm or Business and their experience.
      • Who did the audit and their credentials?
      • Who will run and maintain the project when installed?

    1. Agreements and permits:   5 points

      State if the project is replacing existing equipment and whether or not there are environmental issues. A letter will be needed form the local building permit group saying that either no permit is needed or proof that they have permits issued.

    1. Energy or resource assessment:   10 points

      Need to explain the old project verses the new and the estimated average annual energy savings. This is typically done by a certified energy engineer.

    1. Design & engineering:    30 points

      Describe the project. Tell why this project or item is the best. The applicant certifies that the project will be designed & engineered so it meets the intended purpose and will comply with safety regulations, agreements, permits, codes, & standards.

    1. Project Development Schedule:    5 points

      Describe the development method, proposed schedule for each activity starting and ending dates. Estimated date when the energy audit will be done along with the project dates.

    1. Project Economic Assessment:   20 points

      Describe the financial performance of the proposed project, including the calculation of simple payback. Description of addressing project costs & revenue, applicable investment & production incentives allowing the assessment of project to be cost effective.

    1. Equipment Procurement:    5 points

      The applicant needs to describe the availability of the equipment required by the system. The description supports that the required equipment is available, and can be procured & delivered within the proposed project development schedule.

    1. Equipment Installation:    5 points

      The applicant needs to describe the plan for site development & system installation.

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