Agricultural Opportunities

American Farmland Trust: Farmers Powering Communities - Aims to protect America’s most productive farmland and ranchland while expanding equitable access to renewable energy. AFT’s Smart Solar principles will guide the location of projects to prioritize solar on buildings and land not well suited for farming like the built environment and disturbed, contaminated, and marginal lands to minimize conversion of our nation’s most productive, versatile, and resilient farmland. Expert staff will help you integrate solar on your property.

Farm Credit East Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) Technical Assistance Grant – REAP provides grant awards that cover up to 50% of eligible project costs for renewable energy efficiency improvements for agricultural producers. Farm Credit East was awarded funding to support customers in pursuit of these business improvements, including direct grant writing assistance. Contact your local Farm Credit East (Riverhead for Long Island) to access these services.

PSEG Renewable Energy Remote Net Metering - Allows farm and non-residential customers with wind, solar or farm waste electric generating equipment at one location to utilize their excess generation to reduce their electric bills on accounts at other locations. If solar is installed after 2018, Value of Distribution Energy Resources allows all solar credits remain on an account for twenty years. Any account that was solar before that date, gets reconciled on a yearly basis with a buy back of .02-.05 cents per kWh.

SEIA Guide to Solar Land Leases – Solar developers routinely contact farmers and other landowners to obtain sufficient land to develop a financeable project. Leases can provide extra income to farmers by turning unused or underused land into revenue generation opportunities. Before committing, farmers should always understand the fundamental terms of the proposed agreement, how the lease will affect their property, and the right questions to ask developers.

USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) On-Farm Energy Initiative - Helps farmers make voluntary improvements that can boost energy efficiency on the farm. Benefits include reduced input costs, increased productivity per unit of energy consumed by equipment and lighting, and reduced air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions associated with agricultural use.

By developing an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), financial assistance is available to improve efficiency with a completed energy audit by NRCS-certified Technical Service Providers (TSPs). TSPs provide itemized energy use from individual systems to establish a baseline for electricity and other fuel improvements, recommendations for equipment improvements and upgrades, potential energy reductions and financial savings for each recommendation, cost estimates of potential improvements, and length of expected payback for energy efficiency upgrades. Once an AgEMP or other qualifying energy audit has been completed, eligible producers can apply for EQIP assistance for the purchase, installation, or retrofit of certain buildings or equipment to improve energy efficiency.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) - Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and/or to make energy efficiency improvements. Grants are available for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs.

Funds may be used for these purchase and installation of renewable energy systems:

  • Biomass (examples: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use, wind generation, and solar generation.
  • The purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as: high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), insulation, lighting, cooling or refrigeration units, doors and windows, electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots, and switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor.

Contact New York’s USDA Energy Coordinator, Gary Pereira, at or 315-570-2233 for more information.


August Ruckdeschel
Clean Energy Coordinator
631-727-7850 x350

Last updated April 17, 2024