USDA Awards Loans to Build and Expand Rural Electric Infrastructure
“These loans will help improve the delivery of reliable electricity, and will help ensure that rural areas nationwide can prosper economically and benefit from today’s technologies to meet tomorrow’s needs,” Glendenning said.
The loans are being provided through the Electric Program of the Rural Utilities Service. They will support the construction or improvement of 1,369 miles of transmission and distribution line. They include $22.4 million for smart grid technologies to increase system efficiency and reliability. Smart Grid increases the reliability of electric power by helping utilities better manage power needs and supply, and improve operational efficiencies. It includes metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications, geospatial information systems and other improvements.
Georgia’s Greystone Power Corp. will use a $90.3 million infrastructure loan to connect more than 8,000 customers and build 148 miles of distribution line. The loan includes $9.1 million for smart grid investments. The upgrades will help Greystone continue to meet its customers’ needs, such as those of agricultural and industrial businesses that are credited with driving the economic growth in Greystone’s eight-county service territory.
North Dakota’s Central Power Electric Cooperative, Inc. will use a $50.4 million loan to build or improve nearly 35 miles of transmission line.
The Electric Program is the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration. It makes loans and loan guarantees to nonprofit 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 and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.