Rural Development State Director for North Carolina Robert Hosford today announced that USDA is investing $24 million in North Carolina to build and improve rural electric infrastructure.
“Electric cooperatives provide a vital service to rural North Carolina communities,” said Hosford. “USDA is pleased to assist Haywood EMC in improving the efficiency of essential and affordable services to rural homeowners, farms, and businesses.”
Haywood EMC is receiving a $24 million loan to connect 1,800 customers, build and upgrade 58 miles of distribution line, and build 4 miles of transmission line. This loan includes $750,000 to finance smart grid technologies that will enhance communications to all metering points, as well as other grid assets. This will provide real-time data to improve the reliability of the distribution system. Haywood is a non-profit distribution cooperative providing electric service to approximately 27,200 members in eight counties in Western North Carolina, and to portions of two counties in northeastern Georgia and South Carolina. USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program.
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.