Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that USDA is investing $2.5 billion in rural electric infrastructure improvements to help create jobs and support economic development in 27 states. Of these investments, nearly $119 million was invested in Missouri.
“These significant investments will help develop and maintain modern, reliable electric infrastructure that businesses and rural communities need in a 21st Century economy,” Perdue said. “The loans I am announcing today will help utilities and cooperatives build new transmission and distribution lines, upgrade networks and facilities, and better manage the power grid.”
The funding will support infrastructure improvements for six electric cooperatives in Missouri. Southwest Electric Co-op, Howell Electric Co-op, Associated Electric Co-op, Central Electric Power Co-op, New-Mac Electric Co-op and Barry Electric Co-op. The loans are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which is the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration.
“To move our rural communities forward, we must recognize our electric infrastructure. Rural communities and economies can benefit from the Electric Program because it provides an efficient solution to infrastructural issues and development,” Acting State Director Tim Rickabaugh said. “With the Electric Program, cooperatives and utilities can undertake necessary advancements to continue providing excellent service to their customers throughout Missouri.”
Southwest Electric Cooperative (Bolivar, Mo) received a loan of $12,011,000 to make system improvements.
Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative (West Plains, Mo) received a loan of $27,000,000 to build 94 miles, improve 29 miles of line and make other system improvements.
Associated Electric Cooperative (Springfield, Mo) received a loan of $29,220,000 to make transmission system improvements.
Central Electric Power Cooperative (Jefferson City, Mo) received a loan of $40,248,000 to build 11 miles, improve 77 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan also includes $322,983 for smart grid projects.
New-Mac Electric Cooperative (Neosho, Mo) received a loan of $9,150,000 to build 20 miles of line and make other system improvements.
Barry Electric Power Association (Cassville, Mo) received a loan of $1,302,000 to build 3 miles of line and make other system improvements.
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; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mo.