The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is investing $8.48 million to expand electric infrastructure in rural northwest Oregon, announced State Director John Huffman today.
"Universal access to electricity is essential for rural communities to prosper," said Huffman. "Today's funding reflects our commitment to help rural communities improve and expand their infrastructure. When rural Oregon thrives, all of Oregon thrives."
West Oregon Electric Cooperative, which serves five counties in northwest Oregon, is receiving $8.48 million to build and improve 49 miles of electric transmission line. This electric cooperative was formed by residents in 1944 with assistance from the Rural Electrification Administration, a predecessor to Rural Development. The improvements made with today's funding will increase the cooperative's distribution capacity and ensure greater reliability of service. Electrical service will also be extended to an additional 79 customers.
This funding is being provided through the Electric Infrastructure Loan Program, which provides loans and loan guarantees to nonprofits, cooperatives, public bodies, and other utilities, primarily for electric distribution in rural areas.
Nationwide, USDA is investing $1.4 billion in 21 states to help build and improve a total of 6,886 miles of electric transmission line. Funding of each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
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 healthcare facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.