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Texas Receives $24 Million from Biden-Harris Administration as They Invest $2.7 Billion to Improve & Expand Rural Electric Infrastructure

Meredith Mingledorff
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the Department is investing $2.7 billion to help 64 electric cooperatives and utilities expand and modernize the nation’s rural electric grid and increase grid security.

In Henderson, Texas, Rusk County Electric Cooperative received $24.6 million. This Rural Development investment will connect 1,996 consumers and build or improve 91 miles of line. This loan includes $1.5 million in smart grid technologies. Rusk County Electric serves 22,828 consumers over 3,927 miles in Rusk, Gregg, Panola, Nacogdoches, and Shelby counties all in Texas. 

“These critical investments will benefit rural people and businesses in many ways for decades to come,” Vilsack said. “This funding will help rural cooperatives and utilities invest in changes that make our energy more efficient, more reliable, and more affordable. Investing in infrastructure – roads, bridges, broadband, and energy – supports good-paying jobs and keeps the United States poised to lead the global economy.” 

USDA is investing in 64 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit nearly 2 million rural people and businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The loans include $613 million to help rural utilities and cooperatives install and upgrade smart grid technologies. Smart grid can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services in unserved and underserved rural areas in addition to improving grid security and reliability. 

Nearly half of the awards will help finance infrastructure improvements in underserved communities. 

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 millions of residential, commercial, and agricultural consumers.

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, and community facilities such as schools, public safety, healthcare, and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.