Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Services PDF Print E-mail
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Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 21 September 2012 14:14
Department Passes $250 Million Goal to Fund Smart Grid Technologies

WASHINGTON, DC, September 20, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the latest in a series of loan guarantees to finance improved efficiency and modernization rural electric generation and transmission systems. Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager made the announcement on Vilsack's behalf during a speech in Minneapolis to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

"These loan guarantees will bring expanded, modern electric services to rural businesses and residential customers," Vilsack said. "Several of the loans include funding to help utilities and cooperatives adopt smart grid technologies to modernize electric systems."

One of the guaranteed loan recipients is Nobles Cooperative Electric, which serves several counties in southwestern Minnesota as well as Lyon and Osceola counties in northwestern Iowa. Nobles has been selected for a $6.7 million loan guarantee to build and improve 63 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $850,000 in smart grid projects.

Residents elsewhere in Iowa will benefit from loans to rural utilities and cooperatives. Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. is receiving a $24.6 million loan guarantee to build new substations, a new switching station and a spare transformer to improve service for customers in Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma.

The Gundy Electric Cooperative, Inc., which serves customers in Iowa and Missouri, has been selected for a $5 million loan guarantee to build and improve 18 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes over $700,000 in smart grid projects.

Secretary Vilsack announced earlier this month that USDA met its goal to finance $250 million in smart grid technologies in fiscal year 2012. Today's announcement includes support for nearly $10 million in smart grid technologies.

The following is a list of rural utilities that will receive USDA funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

Georgia

  • Middle Georgia Electric Membership Corporation – $6,300,000. Funds will be used to serve 736 consumers, build and improve 141 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $157,000 in smart grid projects.

Kansas

  • The Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Inc. – $37,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 831 consumers, build and improve 143 miles of distribution line and 142 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2,430,500 in smart grid projects.
  • Twin Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $7,200,000. Funds will be used to serve 603 consumers, build and improve 56 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $675,000 in smart grid projects.

Minnesota and Iowa

  • Nobles Cooperative Electric – $6,700,000. Funds will be used to serve 152 consumers, build and improve 63 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $854,100 in smart grid projects.

Missouri

  • Se-Ma-No Electric Cooperative – $2,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 380 consumers, build and improve 67 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $41,800 in smart grid projects.
  • Sac Osage Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $9,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 713 consumers, build and improve 70 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $775,500 in smart grid projects.
  • Three Rivers Electric Cooperative – $5,334,000. Funds will be used to serve 272 consumers, build and improve 20 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements.

Missouri and Iowa

  • Grundy Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $5,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 332 consumers, build and improve 18 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $703,000 in smart grid projects.

Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma

  • Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $24,628,000. Funds will be used to build new substations, one new switching station and a spare transformer.

Nebraska

  • The Midwest Electric Corporation – $6,466,000. Funds will be used to serve 409 consumers, build and improve 175 miles of distribution line and 22 lines of transmission line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $612,600 in smart grid projects.

Texas

  • United Electric Cooperative Service, Inc. – $50,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 7,572 consumers, build and improve 1,097 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,322,341 in smart grid projects.

Virginia

  • Prince George Electric Cooperative – $8,418,000. Funds will be to serve 1,690 consumers, build and improve 85 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $231,400 in smart grid projects.

The $168 million in loan guarantees announced today are provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service. The funding helps electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America's electric infrastructure. USDA Rural Development also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

For information on other RD projects, please visit Rural Development's new interactive web map at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

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 $172 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 America.

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