Rural Development Acting Deputy Under Secretary Roger Glendenning announced that USDA is making loans to electric cooperatives that will help continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to rural residents, business and institutions in nine states.
“USDA continues to be a partner with cooperatives and utilities to expand and modernize the rural electric grid,” Glendenning said. “These loans represent the latest efforts to create jobs, help grow the rural economy, and support new technology.”
Comanche County Electric Cooperative will use a $9.6 million loan to build or improve 105 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $94,000 to support Smart Grid projects. Smart Grid increases the reliability of electric power by helping utilities better manage power needs and supply, and to improve operational efficiencies. It includes metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications, geospatial information systems and other improvements.
“USDA Rural Development is pleased to offer funding to Comanche County Electric Cooperative,” said Daniel Torres, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director. “By providing loans such as this one, we promote sustainable economic development and enhance the quality of life in rural communities and regions with exceptional needs.”
The loans are being provided through the Electric Program of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration. The Electric Program makes loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities to help finance the construction of electric distribution and generation facilities in rural areas.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities for citizens and businesses in rural areas. Programs help improve infrastructure; start or expand businesses; help residents buy homes; fund community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and bring high-speed Internet access to rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.