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USDA Awards over $343 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Upgrade Energy Efficiency

Lindsay Cheek
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Jeff Case today announced USDA is awarding over $343 million to improve rural electric reliability and resilience throughout Missouri.

“Investing in reliable, modern infrastructure is essential to the economic development and prosperity of rural communities,” said Case.  “USDA is pleased to award funding to modernize infrastructure and improve the quality of life for over 200,000 rural residents.”

Three projects will expand electric infrastructure for Missouri residents:

  • Central Electric Power Cooperative is receiving a $72,153,000 loan to upgrade electric transmission facilities. The improvements will supply peak loads and conform to safety requirements. Central Electric also plans to construct backup control center facilities to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of catastrophe. It is a member-owned transmission electric cooperative that supplies power to eight electric distribution cooperatives. It serves approximately 187,000 residential and business consumers across 22,000 square miles in 28 counties in central Missouri.
  • Howard Electric Cooperative is receiving a $7,769,000 loan to build and improve 47 miles of line and make system improvements for approximately 200 consumers. The loan includes $234,000 for smart grid technologies. Howard serves 3,520 residential and business consumers across 918 miles of line.
  • Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation is receiving a $263,117,000 loan to improve electric grid reliability and security for 998 miles of transmission and distribution line. Carroll Electric will use $8.5 million of the loan to invest in smart grid technologies to improve system communications for 13,260 new customers. Carroll serves 97,275 consumers across 10,613 energized lines in 11 counties in Arkansas and Missouri.

Today’s announcement came as part of a larger statement Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley in which he said USDA is providing $858 million in loans to upgrade rural electric systems in 17 states. The funding includes $64 million to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.  USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program for 17 projects in Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. This funding will help build and improve 3,741 miles of line to improve electric reliability and resilience in rural areas.  

“Investing in our nation’s electric infrastructure powers our economy, creates jobs and helps deliver services such as education, training and health care to build stronger rural communities,” Baxley said. “These loans will help rural electric cooperatives generate and distribute power to keep systems reliable and affordable for those who live and work in rural areas.”

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).

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.

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.