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USDA announces USD1.6 billion loans for rural electricity projects [free access]

November 12, 2018

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced around USD1.6 billion worth of loans for 46 rural electricity infrastructure projects through its Electric Program. These initiatives are aimed at improving the electric reliability and resilience across 24 states. The Program aims at providing the leadership and capital to maintain, expand, upgrade and modernise the rural electric infrastructure across the US.


The projects will involve the construction or improvement of a total of 5,833 miles (9,391 km) of lines and an approximately USD307 million investment in smart grid technologies, which will help improve system operations and monitor grid security.


Of the announced USDA’s investments, South Central Power Cooperative—the largest rural electric distribution cooperative in Ohio—will use a USD124 million loan to add 144 miles (231.8 km) of lines, improve 205 miles (330 km) f lines, undertake other system improvement works, and invest USD24 million in smart grid technologies in the state.


In addition, a loan of USD67.4 million will be directed towards Minnkota Power Cooperative—a regional generation and transmission cooperative—to finance the generation and transmission improvements in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota; while a loan of USD93.9 million will be directed to Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC)—a utility providing transmission services to 38 cooperatives—to finance several transmission improvement projects.