Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Act (REA) and announced funding to build and upgrade rural electric infrastructure in five states.
"Eighty years ago, President Roosevelt signed the law which charged USDA to provide electric power to rural America," Vilsack said. "Today's investments continue a part of USDA's mission that has brought reliable, safe and affordable electric power to America's farms, ranches and rural communities, improved the quality of life for rural residents, increased farm productivity and made America the breadbasket to the world. Continuing to invest in rural electric infrastructure will help keep our economy strong."
USDA is providing $202 million in loans for six projects in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina. The funding is administered through the Electric Program of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, the successor to the REA. The Electric Program makes loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities. The loans finance the construction of electric distribution and generation facilities in rural areas.
The Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. is receiving a $43.1 million loan to make system improvements to the water reactor at the Wolf Creek Generating Station and a $5.2 million loan to fund improvements to the facility’s below-ground water piping.
Today’s investments demonstrate USDA’s commitment to mitigating climate change and promoting a clean-energy economy. This month, the Department is examining what a changing climate means to agriculture and how USDA is working to reduce greenhouse gases. For more information, visit Chapter 5 of https://medium.com/usda-results.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (#USDARD) has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. USDA also has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.
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