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USDA announces rural electric funding

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced that 27 rural electric cooperative utilities will receive funding for generation and transmission projects, distribution facilities and smart grid technologies. These loans will create jobs and finance rural electric utility improvements benefiting more than 28,000 rural customers in 18 states.

"Improving the electric infrastructure in rural areas creates jobs by ensuring that businesses have reliable and affordable power supplies," Vilsack said. "Electric cooperatives are leaders in rural economic development by helping rural areas retain existing jobs and attract new ones."

Vilsack also noted that USDA Rural Development is providing more than $35 million to finance smart grid technologies--such as advanced metering infrastructure--that utilities use to better manage electric supply and demand. The $603 million in loans are being provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service to help electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America's electric infrastructure. RUS funding will help build or improve nearly 5,000 miles of distribution line and more than 100 miles of transmission line. USDA Rural Development also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

The following is a partial list of rural utilities that were selected to receive USDA funding. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

Arkansas

--Woodruff Electric Cooperative Corporation, $31,000,000 loan to serve 1,392 customers with 86 miles of new line, improve 137 miles of existing line and make $249,000 in Smart Grid investments.

--North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Inc., $32,762,000 loan to serve 2,361 customers with 251 miles of new line and improve 166 miles of existing line.

Iowa

--Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association, $6,500,000 loan to serve 30 customers with 2 miles of new line, improve 399 miles of existing line and make $20,000 in Smart Grid investments.

Kansas

--DS&O Electric Cooperative, Inc., $14,420,000 loan to serve 925 customers with 273 miles of new line, improve 88 miles of existing line and make $165,000 in Smart Grid investments.

--Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc., $36,900,000 loan to serve 1,548 customers with 156 miles of new line, improve 111 miles of existing line and make $3.4 million in Smart Grid investments.

--The Caney Valley Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., $3,600,000 loan to serve 516 customers with 39 miles of new line and improve 101 miles of existing line.

Minnesota

--Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services (serving MN and IA), $3,000,000 loan to serve 122 customers with 25 miles of new line, improve 56 miles of existing line and make $157,000 in Smart Grid investments.

--Renville-Sibley Cooperative Power Association, $8,600,000 loan to serve 72 customers with 10 miles of new line, improve 32 miles of existing line and make $1.1 million in Smart Grid investments.

--North Star Electric Cooperative, Inc., $6,100,000 loan to serve 424 customers with 46 miles of new line, improve 62 miles of existing line and make $30,000 in Smart Grid investments.

Missouri

--Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, $2,000,000 loan to serve 520 customers with 44 miles of new line and improve 28 miles of existing line.

--M & A Electric Power Cooperative, $38,129,000 loan to finance additions and improvements to the borrower's transmission facilities, to build 5 miles of new line, improve 17 miles of existing line and make $1.8 million in Smart Grid investments.

--N.W. Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (serving Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska), $43,250,000 loan to finance proposed additions and improvements to transmission facilities, improve 11 miles of existing line and make $8.7 million in Smart Grid investments.

Montana

--Vigilante Electric Cooperative, Inc. (serving MT and ID), $10,265,000 loan to serve 1,043 customers with 153 miles of new line, improve 33 miles of existing line and make $146,000 in Smart Grid investments.

Oklahoma

Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc., $12,704,000 loan to serve 2,004 customers with 82 miles of new line, improve 76 miles of existing line and make $1.2 million in Smart Grid investments.

South Dakota

--Charles Mix Electric Association, Inc., $4,834,000 loan to serve 160 customers with 17 miles of new line, improve 42 miles of existing line and make $114,000 in Smart Grid investments.

--Central Electric Cooperative, Inc., $16,338,000 loan to serve 324 customers with 96 miles of new line, improve 120 miles of existing line and make $145,000 in Smart Grid investments.

Texas

--Lighthouse Electric Cooperative, Inc., $14,000,000 loan to serve 984 customers with 232 miles of new line, improve 34 miles of existing line and make $738,000 in Smart Grid investments.

--Lamb County Electric Cooperative, Inc., $30,269,000 loan to serve 1,795 customers with 284 miles of new line, improve 26 miles of existing line and make $2 million in Smart Grid investments.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Visit www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency's programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.



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