As of July 28, 2020

Below are the details of the current U.S. Government Funding Programs and Resources available to support companies and projects in renewable energy, the bioeconomy and energy efficiency.

Our assistance in obtaining grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other resources is led by Bill Hagy, a retired United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development expert.  Bill spent over three decades at the US Department of Agriculture progressing from a field agent to serving as Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development.  He spent his last three years at the agency as the Special Assistant for Renewable Energy to Former United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack where he advised on policy matters relating to alternative/renewable energy development.  He has deep knowledge of federal loan and funding programs and leads our services to clients seeking to access these programs that provide financial assistance for research, development, demonstration, and commercial scale renewable energy/ energy efficiency projects.

At Lee Enterprises Consulting, we have professionals dedicated to assisting our clients with grants, loans, loan guarantees, and other forms of assistance. We have over 150 subject-matter experts to assist with both the technical and business expertise needed for various programs.

OPPORTUNITY: Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP)

DESCRIPTION: The purpose of the HBIIP is to significantly increase the sales and use of ethanol blends greater than 10 percent ethanol and biodiesel blends greater that 5 percent biodiesel by expanding the facility infrastructure for these renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Transportation fueling facilities including:  Fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments.  Fuel distribution facilities including:  Terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners, and similarly equivalent operations.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: $100 million in the form of competitive cost-share grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $5 million, whichever is less.  Applications must be received by August 13, 2020.

OPPORTUNITY: USDA Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (Section 9003)

DESCRIPTION: This program provides loan guarantees up to $250 million to assist in the development, construction and retrofitting of new and emerging technologies. These technologies are: advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals and biobased products.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Federal or state-chartered banks; Federally-recognized tribes; Cooperatives; Farm Credit Bank or other Farm Credit System institution with direct lending authority; Credit Unions subject to credit examination and supervision by a state agency or the National Credit Union Administration; The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW:  Approximately $63 million of loan level funding plus carry over funding from previous years is available.  There are two application windows each year (April 1 and October 1) for the Phase I applications to be received.

OPPORTUNITY: Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program

DESCRIPTION: This program offers loan guarantees up to $25 million to support rural businesses.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: For-Profit Businesses; Nonprofits; Cooperatives; Federally-Recognized Tribe; Public Bodies.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: There is S1 billion available in Fiscal Year 2020.  Applications are received year-round.

OPPORTUNITY: Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

DESCRIPTION: Guaranteed loans up to $25 million for the purpose of purchasing and installing Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS:  The borrower must be an Agricultural Producer or Rural Small Business.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: In Fiscal Year 2020 there is $500 million available. Applications are received year-round.

OPPORTUNITY: USDA Announces $15 Million in Funding Opportunities to Support Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

DESCRIPTION: Funding helps socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS:  Not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and a range of higher education institutions serving African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: The deadline for applications is September 11, 2020.

OPPORTUNITY:  Title 17 Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program

DESCRIPTION: Program helps finance catalytic, replicable, and market-ready renewable energy and efficient energy technologies.

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS: A project must meet the following four eligibility requirement to qualify: Innovative Technology; Greenhouse Gas Benefits; Located in the United States; and have Reasonable Prospect of Repayment.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: Up to $3.0 billion in loan guarantee authority is available.  Applications are received year-round.

OPPORTUNITY:  USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

DESCRIPTION: Program supports scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds to build a strong national economy by stimulating technological innovation in the private sector; strengthening the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs; increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results; and fostering and encouraging  participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

ELGIBLE APPLICANTS: Applicant submitting a Phase I application must qualify as a Small Business Concern (SBC).

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: Maximum grant award is $100,000.  Technical and Business Assistance from a third party up to $6,500 can be included.  Phase I applications for anticipated 2021 funding are due by October 23, 2020.  Note: The funding announcement was made contingent on the funds becoming available under the 2021 appropriations bill.

OPPORTUNITY: National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/ Small Business Innovation Research Program (STTR) Program Phase I  Solicitation

DESCRIPTION: Seed Fund powered by NSF helps startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services. Fund focuses on high-risk, high-impact technologies — those that show promise but whose success hasn’t yet been validated.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Startups and small businesses including newly formed companies — you don’t need a track record of commercialization to apply for funding. Please note that your company needs to be a legal entity before you apply.

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: Approximately 200 million is provided annually. Maximum grant award is $256,000. Window Date(s):

June 05, 2020 – September 03, 2020

September 04, 2020 – December 03, 2020

OPPORTUNITY: Department of Energy (DOE) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/ Small Business Innovation Research Program (STTR) Program Solicitation

DESRRIPTION:  Supports certain small businesses conduct R&D. Projects must have the potential for commercialization and meet specific DOE mission-specific R&D needs. DOE offers more than sixty technical topics and 250 subtopics, spanning research areas that support the DOE mission in:

Energy Production

Energy Use

Fundamental Energy Sciences

Environmental Management, and

Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Small businesses

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: Maximum Phase I grant award is $200,00-$250,000 depending on the topic area.

Topics were released on Monday, July 13, 2020.

Funding Opportunity Announcement to be issued: Monday, August 10, 2020.

Letter of Intent Due Date: Monday, August 31, 2020

Application Due Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

OPPORTUNITY: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Methods Development in Natural Products Research (SBIR/STTR)

DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this NOSI is to support small businesses for stimulation of technological innovation in natural products research. For the purposes of this NOSI, natural products include prebiotic, probiotic, herbal, botanical, microbial, and animal sources as well as extracts or constituents derived from them. Natural products offer a diverse reservoir of biologically active components.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Small Businesses

AVAILABLE FUNDING AND APPLICATION WINDOW: Maximum Phase I award is $256,580.  First Available due date : September 05, 2020; Expiration  due date: September 06,2023


  • Lee Enterprises Consulting’s 150 subject matter experts provide a broad spectrum of expertise to clients, and allows tailoring of interdisciplinary project teams to meet any project’s unique requirements.

  • Lee Enterprises Consulting’s project teams can be assembled cost-effectively, allowing clients to more efficiently manage projects with a single contract coordination point.

  • Lee Enterprises Consulting’s breadth brings focused, interdisciplinary solutions to support projects such as:
    • Implementing management and technical transitions following acquisitions or mergers
    • Performing a 3rd party independent review of your business plans or technology direction
    • Guiding you with experienced planning from bench, to scale up, to commercialization
    • Engineering and construction resource gaps using our specialists
    • Expanding into new product lines to diversify in traditional biofuel or chemical sectors
    • Implementing new technologies with a vendor-neutral perspective
    • Planning expansion into new geographies from the ground up
    • Providing interim leadership or project management

Contact us at (501)833-8511 or info@lee-enterprises.com to discuss how Lee Enterprises Consulting might assist with your business or project needs.