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Ag Producers & Rural Businesses: Clean Energy Funding Series


February 2023 — This first webinar in the Clean Energy Funding Series focuses on agricultural producers and rural small businesses because Rural Energy for America (REAP) guaranteed grants and loans of $2 billion over the next decade is available to the ag sector now. Round 1 grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects are due March 31, 2023. On this webinar, you will learn about funding available at the federal and state levels through United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Focus on Energy, and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing and what you need to do to put together successful applications.

Webinar Recording

Presenter Slides & Resources

Other Related Resources

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse – A nationwide hub developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology and funded by US Department of Energy to connect businesses, landowners, and researchers with trusted resources to support the growth of co-located solar and sustainable agriculture, also known as agrivoltaic development.

Funding, Incentives, Tax breaks, and Programs – find financial informaiton related to funding, incentives, tax breaks and other programs through the clearinghouse.

Our Presenters

Brenda Heinen, USDA, Rural Development Rural Energy Coordinator

Brenda has 31 years of federal service with USDA delivering a variety of funding resources to rural communities.  Currently, she oversees the Rural Energy for America  (REAP) loan and grant program.  This program provides funding to applicants to purchase and install renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Heather Feigum, Focus on Energy, Agriculture Program and Schools & Government Program Manager

Heather has 15 years of experience having managed energy and project management teams in school districts and as a Focus on Energy Advisor for Schools and Government facilities. Heather began her energy explorations working as a Renewable Energy Researcher at Minnesota State University at Moorhead while getting her bachelor’s degree in Physics with an emphasis in Business. She attained her Masters in Renewable Energy Science with an emphasis on Energy Systems and Policies from the University of Iceland. Heather is a Certified Energy Manager and Certified Performance Contracting & Funding Professional accredited by the Association of Energy Engineers.

Kimberly Johnston, PACE Wisconsin, Market Development Director – PACE

With more than 25 years of experience in energy efficiency, finance and market development, Kim leads market development efforts for Wisconsin’s commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) programs: PACE Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee C-PACE Program. The programs are implemented by Slipstream, a Wisconsin-based non-profit that accelerating climate solutions. Prior to joining Slipstream, Kimberly worked for World Council of Credit Unions developing credit union financing programs, products and services.

Our Moderator

Sherrie Gruder, LEED AP, UW-Madison Extension, Sustainable Design & Energy Specialist

Sherrie provides statewide education and technical assistance on sustainable community development, sustainable energy strategies, and green building to support the resilience and economic vitality of Wisconsin communities, local governments, tribes, and businesses. She delivers the Energy On Wisconsin newsletter, web site and education programs.  She authored the Solar Energy Financing Guide: Empowering Wisconsin Local Governments and assists them with energy and resilience planning and how to profitably and effectively meet their energy independent community goals.

Clean Energy Funding Series

Substantial federal funding to spur America’s transition to a clean energy economy will be available over the next few years as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean energy jobs and technologies, clean transportation, and energy equity will be more accessible to a wider range of sectors than ever before. This webinar series on clean energy funding is designed to ready each sector in Wisconsin to take advantage of the opportunities that are or will be available so that you can prepare effectively to bring that money to your projects. You will learn about:

  • Federal and state funding opportunities available now and in the future
  • Using other federal and state financing and tax incentives in conjunction with federal grants
  • Preparing to apply – what you need to do
  • Accessing resources to assist

Bringing in funding will accelerate the return on investment of your clean energy project and help you earn savings sooner, while speeding up your progress toward resilience, energy independence, and carbon neutrality. This series will help you navigate the landscape of grants and finance opportunities to move forward on obtaining funding for your project.

Webinars in the Clean Energy Funding Series

This webinar series is co-sponsored by:

Explore Our Lunch-n-Learn Series

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