U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Oklahoma State Director, Kenneth Corn, today announced the Department is investing $50 million to assist the Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation expand and modernize the nation’s rural electric grid and increase grid security for Leflore and Sequoyah Counties.
This RD investment will allow the cooperative to build and improve on 360 miles of electric line and invest in smart grid technologies. Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative serves ten counties in Arkansas and two in Oklahoma.
“Providing better security and strengthening our rural Oklahoma electric grid is vital to the long-term health of our rural economy,” Corn said. “This continues to show that the Biden Administration is following through on their commitment to assist our local cooperatives to be more reliable and affordable for our neighbors across the state. Investing in Oklahoma infrastructure not only provides good-paying jobs but more importantly secures rural Oklahoma’s future for a stable and growing economy.”
In the coming months, USDA will announce additional energy infrastructure financing. The Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act provided more than $12 billion to USDA for loans and grants to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs and spur economic growth. This funding will help make energy cleaner, more reliable and more affordable.
USDA’s Electric Loan Program can help finance wind, solar and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce cleaner energy from coal-fired plants. Local utilities also use the loans to invest in infrastructure to deliver affordable power to their consumers.
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, promoting competition and 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 https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.