USDA funds improvements to electric service for rural Kansans
USDA Rural Development State Director in Kansas, Patty Clark, announced that two rural electric cooperatives in Kansas will receive loan guarantees to improve distribution and transmission facilities. The two electric cooperatives in Kansas receiving financing are the Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., $11 million loan guarantee and the Brown Atchison Electric Cooperative Association, $5.1 million loan guarantee.
"USDA Rural Development has a strong commitment to improving infrastructure in rural Kansas by offering low-interest financing to rural electric cooperatives," stated USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark. "Financing provided by USDA Rural Development for rural electric projects assists cooperatives in improving electrical infrastructure, which helps them provide affordable and reliable energy to rural Kansans."
Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative will utilized the USDA financing to rebuild 200 miles of distribution line, replace poles, and make other system-wide improvements. The project will serve 6,600 cooperative customers in Chase, Dickinson, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Morris, Wabaunsee, Geary, Riley and Harvey counties.
"For 75-years the cooperative has provided electricity to rural consumers, and this project will help improve the reliability to our customers," stated Robert Reece, Manager of Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association. "The low-interest financing that USDA provides the cooperative allows it to make needed improvements to the system, and will help keep electrical rates reasonable for our rural customers."
The Brown Atchison Electric Cooperative Association will build 53 miles of distribution lines, 5 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements that will serve 201 customers. More than 3,500 customers in Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson, and Nemaha Counties are served by the cooperative.
"USDA's Rural Utilities Service financing has been the backbone of this cooperative since its beginning, which was 75 years ago," stated Robert Perry, manager of The Brown Atchison Electric Cooperative Association. "The ice storm that hit northeast Kansas more than five years ago did a lot of damage to the electrical lines, and this funding will allow the cooperative to continue to upgrade and replace the lines, which will improve reliability."
The $16 million in loan guarantees announced are provided by USDA's Rural Utilities Service. The funding helps electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America's electric infrastructure. USDA also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $181 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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 areas.