Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development Roger Glendenning last last month announced that USDA is providing more than a quarter billion dollars in loans for rural electric infrastructure improvements.
“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 lines. 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.
Indiana’s Whitewater Valley Rural Electric Membership Corp. will use a $10 million loan to upgrade 111 miles of line and make system improvements. The loan includes $125,000 in smart grid technologies.
Michigan’s Great Lakes Energy Cooperative is receiving a $47.7 million loan to build or improve 709 miles of line for 3,000 new consumers. The loan includes $4.6 million for smart grid technologies.
Minnesota’s Wild Rice Electric Cooperative Inc. will use a $14.7 million loan to build or improve 121 miles of line and finance $3.3 million in smart grid technologies.
Ohio’s Logan County Cooperative Power and Light Association will use a $4.3 million loan to build 40 miles of line and invest more than $428,000 in smart grid technologies. Also in Ohio, Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative will use a $9.4 million loan to build nearly 50 miles of line and invest $947,000 in smart grid technologies.
The Northwestern Electric Cooperative in Oklahoma will use a $25 million loan to build 155 miles of line and invest $3.9 million in smart grid technologies.
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.