U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case today announced USDA is awarding over $234 million to improve rural electric reliability and resilience throughout rural Missouri.
“President Trump has made it a priority to rebuild American infrastructure and forge a path towards greater prosperity,” said Case. “Rural Development has the unique opportunity to invest in projects that modernize, improve, and expand infrastructure throughout rural America. By partnering with Rural Development, these four electric cooperatives are helping to improve the quality of life for over 1.4 million rural residents by providing the critical infrastructure rural communities need.”
The projects announced today are being funded through USDA’s Electric Program. These investments will help contribute to a stronger rural electric system by improving operations and reliability.
Below are summaries of USDA’s investments benefitting rural Missourians:
- KAMO Electric Cooperative is receiving a $132,535,000 loan to finance transmission facilities and make other system improvements. KAMO is headquartered in Vinita, Ok. It provides wholesale electric service to its 17 members. Collectively, these members serve 316,661 consumers across 57 counties in northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri.
- A $48,776,000 loan to Associated Electric Cooperative will be used to support the acquisition of the New Madrid Unit 1, a coal-fired unit near Marston, Mo. Associated is a Generation and Transmission (G&T) utility that provides electricity to six G&Ts in the central portion of the United States. These G&Ts in turn provide electricity to 51 distribution cooperatives to over 910,000 residential and commercial consumers in Missouri, Oklahoma and Iowa.
- Sho-Me Power Cooperative is receiving a $48,499,000 loan to provide a bundled product that includes power supply and high-voltage transmission services that are sold to its nine Rural Electric Cooperative member-owners that serve 192,761 consumers, Fort Leonard Wood and two municipalities. Sho-Me is a non-profit generation and transmission cooperative, with headquarters in Marshfield, Mo. The high-voltage transmission service (wheeling) is sold to 16 municipalities. The electric loan is for distribution facilities, transmission facilities and geographic information system (GIS) equipment.
- A $5,000,000 loan to West Central Electric Cooperative will be used to build 13 miles of line and make other system improvements. West Central is headquartered in Higginsville, Mo. It serves more than 13,500 residential and business consumers over nearly 2,333 miles of line in north central Missouri.
Today’s announcement came as part of a larger statement from Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today in which she said USDA is investing $1.6 billion in 46 rural electric utility infrastructure projects to improve electric reliability and resilience in 24 states. USDA’s funding will help build or improve 5,833 miles of line. It includes $307 million in smart grid technologies, which improve system operations and monitor grid security. Overall, these investments, will benefit 7 million rural business and residential electric consumers across the country.
“Reliable and affordable power is an underpinning for economic development and quality of life,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in building prosperity in rural communities through the sustainment and modernization of rural electric infrastructure.”
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo or by calling (573) 876-0976.
USDA Rural Development has 24 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a State Office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.