The investment is expected to benefit 1.4 million rural residents and businesses in 25 states


USDA provides $3.1bn funding to improve rural electric infrastructure in US. (Credit: NickyPe from Pixabay.)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a $3.1bn investment in rural electric infrastructure in 25 states in the US.

It is providing funds for 53 projects through the Electric Loan Program, which makes direct loans and loan guarantees (FFB), grants and other energy project financing to electric utilities that serve customers in rural areas.

The investment will be utilised to build and improve electric infrastructure and is expected to benefit 1.4 million rural residents and businesses in 25 states.

USDA is offering funds to Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Secretary Perdue said: “Working and accessible rural electric infrastructure is a cornerstone to prosperity in America’s heartland.

“This critical funding reflects President Trump’s commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America and ensures this major infrastructure network remains reliable for the millions of Americans who depend on it every day.”

K.C. Electric Association to receive $9.7m to build and improve 79km of electric line

Colorado-based K.C. Electric Association will receive $9.7m loan to connect six consumers, as well as build and improve 79km of electric line. The funding will also include $1.3m in smart grid technologies.

USDA said that it is providing 14.5m loan to Butler County REC to link 231 consumers, and to construct and improve 334.7km of electric line in north eastern and north-central Iowa.

Associated Electric Cooperative will also receive a $52m funding to finance a variety of generation system improvement projects.

In addition, USDA will offer $51.1m loan to North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation to improve system generation for 25 electric membership corporations which serve 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

About $4.5m financing will also be provided to REA Energy to service electric infrastructure for about 23,000 members over 4,339km in Armstrong, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland counties.

Last month, USDA has announced a $268m investment to modernise rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across 28 states.