State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett today announced that USDA is investing $27 million to upgrade rural electric systems in Texas. The funding includes $200,000 to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.
“Rural Texans need reliable and affordable electricity,” Hargett said. “We are pleased to offer funding to Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative to improve the efficiency of this essential service.”
Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative will use a $27,375,000 loan to build and improve 218 miles line to connect 2,000 new customers. The cooperative also will invest $200,000 in smart grid technologies to increase system efficiency and resilience. The cooperative serves approximately 42,580 customers over 7,500 miles of line in San Augustine, Nacogdoches, Panola, Shelby, Jasper, Newton, Rusk and Sabine counties.
USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks. Congress appropriated $5.5 billion for USDA’s Electric Loan Program 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.