The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $371 million to build and improve critical electric infrastructure that will benefit more than 222,000 rural residents and commercial customers in 11 states.
“These investments will improve electric service by connecting more consumers, building and improving lines, and modernizing power grids in rural communities,” USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is investing in 10 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will help build and improve 3,741 miles of line to improve electric reliability and resilience in rural areas in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The loans include $80 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.
“This investment continues to build upon the unprecedented commitment USDA has made to revitalize rural infrastructure,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen. “The Upper Peninsula in particular has been receiving upgrades that will pay benefits for decades to come.”
In Michigan, the Alger-Delta Cooperative Electric Association will use an $8,000,000 loan to build nine miles of line. This includes $2,065,672 in smart grid technologies. Alger-Delta is headquartered in Gladstone, Mich., and serves 10,089 members through 1,300 miles of line in six counties in Michigan's central Upper Peninsula.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
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