Solar company offers free Rural Energy for America Program workshops

earth-newAgriculture and rural small businesses in the Shenandoah Valley interested in purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and/or making energy efficiency improvements may qualify for Rural Energy for America Program grants up to $500,000 available through the United States Department of Agriculture—Rural Development. A local solar company will offer two free workshops in May to help businesses understand eligibility requirements and how to complete the application process.

Altenergy Incorporated, Staunton will host REAP information sessions on Thursday, May 15 and Tuesday, May 27 at 6:30pm. Both will be held at 16West by Virtually Sisters at 16 W. Beverley St., Staunton. The workshops will be led by Joe Sadonis, Staunton branch manager, and are free and open to the public.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), through USDA- Rural Development, offers grants, guaranteed loans, and combination grant/ guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements in rural areas. Individuals/businesses directly engaged in the production of agricultural products that obtain at least 50% or greater of their gross income from their agriculture business and small businesses that meet the small business size standards determined by the Small Business Administration are eligible for REAP.

“This is an excellent opportunity for many businesses in the Shenandoah Valley to get funding for solar energy projects that could help make their operations more cost-efficient and sustainable. Many businesses might be surprised to find out what qualifies as a “rural” business under the Small Business Administration guidelines. We look forward to offering assistance to rural businesses wanting to take advantage of this usda program,” said Sadonis.

For more about Altenergy Incorporated Staunton, visit or contact Joe at(540)885-0493, email

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