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USDA Invests in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements in North Carolina

Garland Burnette
Release Date

Rural Development State Director for North Carolina Robert Hosford today announced that USDA is investing $36.6 million to upgrade rural electric systems in North Carolina. The funding includes $2 million to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.

   “USDA is committed to investing in rural electric infrastructure,” said Hosford. “With these investments we promote sustainable economic development and enhance the quality of life for residents in rural North Carolina.”

   USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program for 2 projects that will serve rural areas in North Carolina.  The funding will help improve electric reliability in rural areas.  

    Pee Dee Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) will use a $20 million loan to build or improve 210 miles of line to serve 2,245 customers. The loan includes almost $2 million for smart grid technologies to improve system efficiency and grid security. Pee Dee EMC serves 21,000 customers across seven counties.

    North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) will use a $16.6 million loan to improve generation systems at the Catawba Nuclear Station. NCEMC is a generation and transmission electric cooperative headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. It provides power to distribution cooperatives across 93 counties.

   USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. USDA had $5.5 billion available for Electric Program loans in fiscal year 2019.

   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.