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HomeRegional NewsBiden-Harris Administration Invests Over $100 Million in Electric Infrastructure in North Dakota

Biden-Harris Administration Invests Over $100 Million in Electric Infrastructure in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D., March 7, 2024 – As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban announced nearly $150 million in electric infrastructure funding across North Dakota.

“For decades, USDA Rural Development has helped leaders of North Dakota’s rural electric cooperatives access the resources they need to build, improve, connect, and deliver power to our rural friends and neighbors,” said Oban. “President Biden’s announcement today of federal investments of more than $140 million in our state’s rural electric systems helps to maintain affordability and reliability, sustains our state’s economy and major industries, and supports the great quality of life offered in North Dakota’s most rural and remote communities. 

USDA is financing projects through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee program and selecting the first applications to move forward in the awards process for the Powering Affordable Clean Energy program.

Together, these projects will reduce electricity costs for hardworking families and small business owners and prevent power outages in the face of extreme weather exacerbated by the climate crisis. The investments will also strengthen the nation’s energy independence and good-paying jobs that benefit everyone.

These announcements advance President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate, clean energy, and other covered investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.  

Electric Infrastructure Loans

USDA is investing $2.2 billion to support 39 projects in 21 states through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Funding will help utility providers and electric cooperatives build and improve electric infrastructure, smart-grid technologies, and renewable energy systems.

The projects will ensure more than two million people in rural areas have access to reliable electricity, increasing their opportunities for economic growth and enhancing their overall quality of life.

In North Dakota:

  • Capital Electric Cooperative will use a $37,855,000 loan to connect 2,044 consumers and build and improve 254 miles of line. This loan includes $3,366,000 in smart grid technologies. Capital Electric is headquartered in Bismarck and provides power to approximately 21,700 consumers through 2,798 miles of line in five counties.

  • Central Power Electric Cooperative will use a $33,903,000 loan to build and improve 60 miles of transmission line through transmission system improvements.  Central Power is headquartered in Minot, serving more than 68,259 consumers in 25 counties across the central and southeastern third of North Dakota.

  • Verendrye Electric Cooperative Inc. Will use a $37,549,000 loan to connect 847 consumers and build and improve 298 miles of line. This loan includes $5,615,728 in smart grid technologies. Verendrye Electric is headquartered in Velva and serves the needs of an average of 16,586 consumers over 4,631 miles in McHenry, McLean, Pierce, Renville, Sheridan, Ward, and Wells counties in North Dakota.

  • Northern Electric Cooperative will use a $34,479,000 loan to connect 576 consumers and build and improve 224 miles of line. This loan includes $2,099,600 in smart grid technologies. Northern Electric is headquartered in Bath, South Dakota, and serves 6,586 consumers through 2,514 miles of line in ten counties in northeastern South Dakota and one county in the southern part of North Dakota.

Background

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act marks the largest single investment in rural electrification since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.   

The Biden-Harris Administration championed the Inflation Reduction Act to help provide new funding and unprecedented incentives to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. It also provided historic funding for USDA Rural Development to help eligible organizations invest in renewable energy infrastructure and zero-emission systems and make energy-efficiency improvements that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

USDA makes funding available for the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program through regular appropriations from Congress. It provides funding to utility providers and electric cooperatives to build and improve electric infrastructure, smart-grid technologies and renewable energy systems. Through this program, USDA Rural Development ensures everyone in rural areas has access to electricity to increase economic opportunity and quality of life.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.

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