The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced funds of over $356m to support rural electricity projects in 16 states.

The projects aim at providing reliable and affordable electricity to rural residents, including improved services for Native Americans.

USDA’s latest announcement includes over $15m funding for smart grid and is expected to finance the construction of more than 2,400 miles of new or improved electric line.

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "USDA funding for rural electric utilities not only improves service to customers, it makes the grid more efficient and reliable and encourage investment, business development and job creation in rural communities."

In Arkansas and Louisiana, Ashley-Chicot Electric will get $6.8m to build distribution line and make other system improvements, while in Florida, Sumter Electric will get $30m for the construction of distribution line and other system improvements.

In Georgia, Flint Electric Membership and Irwin Electric Membership will get $48.3m and $25m respectively for distribution line and for other system improvements.

In Indiana, Dubois Rural Electric will receive $4m for distribution line and make other system improvements, including $121,800 for smart grid projects.

Butler County Rural Electric in Iowa will receive $2.5m for distribution line, other improvements, and a loan of $20,000 for smart grid projects.

In Kentucky, Fleming-Mason Energy will get $12.3m for electric projects, including $2.3m for smart grid.

Likewise, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, South Dakota, and Washington too have received loans to improve electricity projects.