USDA Pledges Funding for Rural Electric Systems

USDA Pledges Funding for Rural Electric Systems

Funding will help support Smart Grid technology and modernize electric infrastructure

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday a USDA investment of $263.3 million to help modernize and improve rural electric service in eight states.

The announcement includes nearly $20 million for smart grid improvements. Smart grid refers to the application of technologies designed to modernize the U.S. electric system. These technologies increase the reliability of electric power by helping utilities better manage the electric grid, such as during peak demand, to improve operational efficiencies, USDA says.

Rural electric funding will help support Smart Grid technology and modernize electric infrastructure

"America's infrastructure must be modernized if we are to continue to create jobs, expand opportunity and be competitive in the global economy," Vilsack said. "Modernizing our nation's rural electric infrastructure will help better support economic development in rural areas while helping to ensure reliable and affordable electric service for people who live and work in small communities across the country."

The loans will build or improve more than 3,700 miles of line in rural areas.

A modern, reliable electric system is critical to attract and retain residents and businesses to rural communities, USDA says, and rural utility investments have long brought new economic and social opportunities and have enhanced the quality of life in the nation's rural communities.

View funding projects >>

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States and projects receiving funding under Wednesday's announcement:"

California
• Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District – $8,000,000. To make transmission improvements.

Florida
• Sumter Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $110,000,000. To build or improve 1,447 miles of line and make other system improvements.

Georgia
• Planter Electric Membership Corporation – $6,323,000. To build or improve 63 miles of line and make other system improvements.
• Altamaha Electric Membership Corporation – $23,000,000. To build or improve 580 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $2,911,442 for smart grid projects.

Kansas
• DS&O Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $8,000,000. To build a new headquarters.

Kentucky and Indiana
• Owen Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $30,000,000. To build or improve 228 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $3,431,205 for smart grid projects.

North Carolina
• Carteret-Craven Electric Membership Corporation – $11,000,000. To build or improve 122 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $4,915,412 for smart grid projects.

Virginia
• Southside Electric Cooperative – $40,000,000. To build or improve 1,334 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $8,625,256 for smart grid projects.

Source: USDA

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