Ag Secretary Vilsack announces funding to improve rural electric infrastructure

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that rural electric cooperative utilities in eight states will receive funding to install smart grid technologies and make improvements to generation and transmission facilities. The announcement was made on the Secretary’s behalf by Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager during the 2012 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The announcement includes support for about $25 million in Smart Grid technologies. The $201 million in loans announced are provided by USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). 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.

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.

South Dakota

  • Codington-Clark Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $9,013,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 87 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $965,953 in smart grid projects.

Florida

  • Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $19,922,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 274 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2,397,027 in smart grid projects.

Georgia

  • Georgia Transmission Corporation – $74,051,000. Funding will be used to construct new lines and substations and make upgrades to existing lines and substations. The loan amount includes $5,305,823 in smart grid projects.
  • Upson Electric Membership Corporation – $3,925,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 94 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements.

Mississippi

  • Dixie Electric Power Association – $29,079,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 301 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements.
  • Magnolia Electric Power Association – $30,000,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 251 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $5,414,200 in smart grid projects.

New Mexico

  • Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $6,646,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 65 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $699,560 in smart grid projects.

North Carolina

  • Roanoke Electric Membership Corporation – $16,820,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 106 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $156,100 in smart grid projects.

Ohio

  • Darke Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $5,620,000. Funding will be used to build and improve 69 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $637,360 for smart grid projects.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative – $6,912,000. Funds will be used to build and improve 406 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements.
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