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USDA Invests in Rural Electric Infrastructure and Smart Grid Improvements in Texas

Erika Archie
Release Date

State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett today announced that USDA is investing $31 million to upgrade rural electric systems and reduce energy costs in Texas. The funding includes $1.2 million for smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.

   “Reliable and affordable electricity is a vital service rural Texans need,” Hargett said. “We are pleased to offer funding to Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative to improve the efficiency of this essential service.”

   USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program to improve rural electric infrastructure in Texas.

   Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., is receiving a $31,254,000 loan to build or improve 1,597 miles of line to improve service to 2,582 consumers. The loan includes $1.23 million in smart grid technologies. Heart of Texas Electric serves 21,300 consumers over 3,750 miles of line in Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hamilton, McLennan and Milam counties.

    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. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.