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USDA Loans for Anaerobic Digesters

One of the types of financial help from the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program is the USDA anaerobic digester loans which are intended to facilitate renewable energy projects. These loans exclusively finance initiatives that include anerobic digesters and renewable energy systems.  The Rural Energy for America Program is a grant and loan-guaranteed program for ranches, farms and small businesses. It is reserved for rural America communities with a population of 50k or less. REAP includes its components, an energy audit, grants of $20,000 and less, of $80,000 and less, and more than $200,000. In addition to the Energy Audit advisory, REAP provides Renewable Energy Development Assistance, grants, and guaranteed loans for renewable energy systems, as well as guaranteed loans-only assistance.

by | Nov 17, 2023

How the Loans Work

The USDA anerobic digester fund supports the construction of digesters. The loans cover 75% of the project budget. Grants can pay 50% of the project cost. If you get the two together, you will be able to cover 75% of your project.

On an annual basis, the grant percentage is posted afresh. In 2024, it’s 80%. Grants for renewable energy systems are from $2,500 up to $1 million. Energy Efficiency Grants range from $1,500 available up to $500,000. You can find the exact amounts using an anerobic digester loans calculator.

Eligibility Criteria

USDA Loans for Anaerobic Digesters
  • Farmers and rural small business owners are given priority.

  • It is advisable to place the project in eligible rural America areas.

  • Candidates will be required to show financial viability and environmental sustainability.

Types of Projects Allowed Under USDA Anerobic Digester Loans

Farm-based digesters: These power livestock manure conversion into biogas

Food waste digesters: They divert food wastes which are converted into renewable power.

Co-digestion facilities: These are responsible for dealing with a combination of organic wastes, therefore providing the desired flexibility and efficiency.

Loan Repayment Terms

The repayment schedules of USDA anaerobic digester loans are quite flexible with up to 40-year terms that take into consideration the system’s useful life, interest rates, and borrower’s ability to repay.

USDA Anerobic Digester Loans Purpose and Advantages


USDA Anaerobic Digester Loans

Through USDA anaerobic digester loans, projects that both advance the economic and environmental well-being of rural communities are made possible. 

Often, farmers in agricultural production and other rural small businesses need assistance with waste management. Such a process may be expensive, inefficient, and harmful to the environment. 

USDA onerd guarantee loan program helps farmers overcome these limitations, turning the problem into a suitable opportunity for the agricultural production: biogas, biofertilisers, and compost.

Empowering local communities

Farmers and rural communities are not left out of the rewards as well. The Onerd guarantee loan initiative enables local economies by creating jobs that build, organize, and run an anaerobic digestion system.

They enhance a farm’s profitability by cutting down waste disposal costs and selling renewable energy products which become a new source of funds.

They reinforce rural resiliency by furnishing proven clean and stable energy sources that are irrespective of the fluctuating fossil fuel prices.

Environmental benefits


Purpose and Advantages of USDA Loans

Anerobic digesters cut greenhouse gas emissions by capturing methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – that otherwise would have been released from organic wastes into the atmosphere.

They enhance soil health by producing natural fertilizers that are rich in nutrients and reduce the dependency on synthetic fertilizers. They protect water sources by reusing sewerage water to promote agricultural operations and other rural development activities.

Funding National Renewable Energy Goals

Ultimately, the USDA anaerobic digester loans contribute significantly towards the national goals of higher renewable energy production.

Converting farm wastes to biogas – an energy source which is versatile and renewable – these projects support the diversification of our nation’s energy mix, decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and smoothly transition the country to a more sustainable future.

USDA Anerobic Digester Loan Application Process

Infographic showing the process and benefits of converting waste to energy via anaerobic digestion.

First, collect all the documents needed for your application. This shall encompass the financial statements, business plans and environmental reports if any.

Then, fill out the USDA loan application form. Be sure you fill out each part correctly so as not to delay the process.

Send your application and all relevant documents to the local Rural Development office.

Required Documents for Application Submission

Detailed Business Plan: It should be explained what the anaerobic digester project is about, and what impact it could have on rural development.

Financial Statements: Include personal and business financial statements dating back to the last three years.

Environmental Reports: Provided that this information is available; it can reveal the possible environmental implications of the project in question.

Timeframe for Loan Getting Approved

Technical Requirements for Loan Application

Initial Review (1-2 weeks): The completeness and eligibility of your application will be assessed during the review process.

Detailed Evaluation (4-6 weeks): If eligible your proposal will be subjected to in-depth evaluation, which will include a credit analysis and environmental assessment.

Final Decision (2-4 weeks): Upon completion of all evaluations, there will eventually be a final determination on whether or not your loan request is approved.

Be aware that these timeframes are just approximations and plan your time appropriately.

Critical Points to Remember While Filing the Application Form

Be accurate: Make sure that all the information is correct so that there won’t be any delays or disapprovals.

Be thorough: Try to be as specific as possible in your project description.

Follow instructions carefully: The form comprises particular sections with specific information. Please read and follow the directions strictly.

In fact, the USDA loan application process can look and feel quite complicated. On the other hand, taking care and paying attention to details can make the road to obtaining financing for the anaerobic digester project interesting and exciting.

Technical Requirements in the Submission of Loan Application

Aerial perspective of a rural community utilizing biogas energy from a local anaerobic digester.

The USDA has established stringent technical conditions that all anaerobic digester loan applications must comply with. This shall guarantee the technical feasibility of the project and its success in making a positive environmental and economic impact.

Feasibility Study

The feasibility study is an important component of the loan application process

  • The form of waste to be recycled

  • The expected biogas yield

  • The design and the operation plans

  • A detailed financial projection

The USDA goes through this information to determine if the project meets the technical, economic, and environmental criteria.

Professional Engineer Certification


Available Funding Amounts for Projects

Besides a detailed feasibility report, applications also have to come with certification from a professional engineer or another document proving the technical feasibility.

The engineer certification must contain a signature of the licensed engineer validating the project’s design and operating plan and documentation of previous successful task completion on similar projects.

This condition puts well-designed projects conducted by experienced managers in the best position to get loan funds.

In addition, detailed project design, budget and operation, and maintenance plans are also required for such loan application processes.  You must also detail the following:

  • What methods of collection and storage will be used

  • How biogas will be captured and integrated into day-to-day operations.

  • Safety measures

  • Regular maintenance tasks

These details assist USDA in appraising if applicants can competently take over the operations of the project after they are done.

In a nutshell, a USDA anaerobic digester loan requires applicants to fulfil stringent technical regulations. The feasibility study is very important – applicants must show that their projects are practical.

Additionally, they should provide documentation of engineering supervision provided by the applicants themselves. They must submit comprehensive blueprints for system design, operation, and upkeep outlining that all aspects of the anaerobic digestion have been considered.

Let’s sail through financing together for the next step of the anaerobic digester project. Flaney Capital will guide you every step of the way. Our mission is to serve as a bridge between loan seekers such as yourself and high-quality lenders whose core business is the financing of anaerobic digesters.

We simplify the application process, ensuring that you are able to get the funds when you need, to do your project. Call us at 1-888-822-0844.

Watch Our Videos

Are you ready to take your business to new heights? Discover the power of the USDA Business Industry Program. With its comprehensive eligibility criteria, underwriting requirements, and loan guarantees, this program provides accessible and affordable loan options for businesses in rural areas.


Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

What are USDA anaerobic digester loans?

USDA anaerobic digester loans are financial resources provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund projects related to anaerobic digesters in rural areas.

What is the purpose of these loans?

These loans aim to promote sustainable energy solutions, stimulate rural economic growth, and create jobs.

How can I apply for a USDA loan?

The application procedure involves several steps, including meeting specific technical requirements. The USDA’s official website contains detailed information about the process.

What are some advantages of USDA Loans?

USDA Loans offer several benefits, such as low interest rates, flexible credit guidelines, and no down payment requirement in certain circumstances.

How do these loans impact local economies?

These loans significantly impact local economies by funding projects that generate renewable energy and create employment opportunities in rural areas.

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