Distributed Energy Generation Energy Project Financing

The RUS Electric Program can provide loans and loan guarantees to energy project developers for distributed energy projects including renewables that provide wholesale or retail electricity to existing Electric Program borrowers or to rural communities served by other utilities. Electric Program project financing loans follow the same regulatory requirements and processes as do our traditional electric infrastructure loans and loan guarantees (also known as system loans or loans for rural electrification).

Distributed generation projects including generation from renewable resources are providing more power supply options for rural communities. There is growing interest among electric cooperatives to enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) with project developers or to interconnect distributed generation projects directly into their systems.

Who may apply for financing?

  • Energy project developers for distributed energy projects
  • Electric Program borrowers or other utilities that serve rural areas

How may funds be used?

For project loans, there are three typical situations:

  • Existing borrower (cooperative) owns and operates the project.
  • A project developer builds and operates the project that has PPAs to serve rural customers such as existing RUS borrowers and/or other off-takers.
  • A wholly-owned subsidiary of an existing RUS borrower owns and operates the project and has a PPA with the RUS borrower to take the entire output.

Contacts

Annie Holloway-Jones
USDA Rural Development
Deputy Assistant Administrator Ofc. of Loan Origination & Approval
Annie.jones@wdc.usda.gov
http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distributed-generation-energy-project-financing

Business and Industry Loan Guarantees

What does this program do?

This program bolsters the existing private credit structure through the guaranteeing of loans for rural businesses, allowing private lenders to extend more credit than they would typically be able to.

Who may apply for this program?

Lenders with legal authority, sufficient experience, and financial strength to operate a successful lending program like:

  • Federal or State chartered banks
  • Savings and loans
  • Farm credit banks
  • Credit unions

What kind of borrower may the lender request a guarantee for?

  • For-profit businesses
  • Nonprofits and cooperatives
  • Federally-recognized Tribes
  • Public bodies
  • Individuals

Are there restrictions on the borrower?

  • Government or military employees may not own more than 20%
  • Majority ownership must be held by US citizens or permanent residents (1)

What is an eligible area?

  • Any area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town.
  • The borrower’s headquarters may be based within a larger city as long as the project  is located in an eligible rural area
  • The lender may be located anywhere
  • Projects may be funded in rural and urban areas under the Local and Regional Food System Initiative

Check eligible addresses for Business Programs

How may funds be used?

Eligible uses include but are not limited to:

  • Business conversion, enlargement, repair, modernization, or development
  • Purchase and development of land, easements, rights-of-way, buildings, or facilities
  • Purchase of equipment, leasehold improvements, machinery, supplies, or inventory
  • Debt refinancing when new jobs will be created and other conditions are met
  • Business and industrial acquisitions when the loan will keep the business from closing and/or save or create jobs

Guaranteed loan funds MAY NOT be used for:

  • Lines of credit
  • Owner-occupied housing
  • Golf courses
  • Racetracks or gambling facilities
  • Churches, church-controlled organizations, or charitable organizations
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Lending, investment and insurance companies
  • Projects involving more than $1 million and the relocation of 50 or more jobs
  • Agricultural production, with certain exceptions (2)
  • Distribution or payment to an individual owner, partner, stockholder, or beneficiary of the borrower or a close relative of such an individual when such individual will retain any portion of the ownership of the borrower

What Collateral Is Required?

Collateral must have documented value sufficient to protect the interest of the lender and the Agency. The discounted collateral value will normally be at least equal to the loan amount. Lenders will discount collateral consistent with sound loan-to-value policy. Hazard insurance is required on collateral (equal to the loan amount or depreciated replacement value, whichever is less).

Maximum Advance Rates
Real Estate: 80% of fair market value
Equipment: 70% of fair market value
Inventory: 60% of book value (raw inventory and finished goods only)
Accounts Receivable:  60% of book value (less than 90 days)

What is the maximum amount of a loan guarantee?

  • 80% for loans of $5 million or less
  • 70% for loans between $5 and $10 million
  • 60% for loans exceeding $10 million, up to $25 million maximum

What are the loan terms?

  • Maximum term on real estate is 30 years
  • Maximum term on machinery and equipment is useful life or 15 years, whichever is less
  • Maximum term on working capital not to exceed 7 years
  • Loans must be fully amortized; balloon payments are not permitted
  • Reduced payments may be scheduled in the first three years

What are the interest rates?

  • Interest rates are negotiated between the lender and borrower, subject to Agency review
  • Rates may be fixed or variable
  • Variable interest rates may not be adjusted more often than quarterly

What are the applicable fees?

  • There is an initial guarantee fee equal to 3% of the guaranteed amount
  • There is an annual renewal fee, currently 0.5% of outstanding principal (3)
  • Reasonable and customary fees are negotiated between the borrower and lender

What are the underwriting and security requirements?

  • The proposed operation must have realistic repayment ability
  • New enterprises may be asked to obtain a feasibility study by a recognized independent consultant
  • The business and its owners must have a good credit history
  • At loan closing/project completion, the business must have tangible balance sheet equity position of:
    • 10 percent or more for existing businesses, or
    • 20 percent or more for new businesses.
  • Key person life insurance may be required and the amount negotiated. A decreasing term life insurance is acceptable
  • Personal and corporate guarantees are normally required from all proprietors, partners (except limited partners), and major shareholders (i.e., all those with a 20 percent or greater interest)

How do we get started?

Applications are accepted from lenders through our local offices year round
Interested borrowers should inquire about the program with their lender
Lenders interested in participating in this program should contact the USDA Rural Development Business Programs Director in the state where the project is located.

Contacts