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|Release No. 0017.17|
|Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384|
|USDA Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in Nine States|
|Projects are being financed in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas|
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2017 – Rural Development Acting Deputy Under Secretary Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA is making loans to electric cooperatives that will help continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to rural residents, business and institutions in nine states.
"USDA continues to be a partner with cooperatives and utilities to expand and modernize the rural electric grid," Glendenning said. "These loans represent the latest efforts to create jobs, help grow the rural economy, and support new technology."
USDA is making $202 million in loans to upgrade rural electric service in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
The loans include $14.7 million to implement Smart Grid technology. Smart Grid increases the reliability of electric power by helping utilities better manage power needs and supply, and to improve operational efficiencies. It includes metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications, geospatial information systems and other improvements.
Here is a summary of the loans:
The loans are being provided through the Electric Program of USDA's Rural Utilities Service, the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration. The Electric Program makes loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities to help finance the construction of electric distribution and generation facilities in rural areas.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities for citizens and businesses in rural areas. Programs help improve infrastructure; start or expand businesses; help residents buy homes; fund community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and bring high-speed Internet access to rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.