Rural Development Invests $2.5 Billion in Electric Infrastructure Nationwide
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that USDA is investing $2.5 billion in rural electric infrastructure improvements to help create jobs and support economic development in 27 states, including Maine.
In Maine, the Fox Islands Electric Coop has been selected to receive an Electric Infrastructure Loan in the amount of $1,579,000 to improve five miles of lines and make other improvements.
“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.”
USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins said, “I am pleased Rural Development is investing in critical infrastructure improvements in Maine that will help ensure reliable and affordable electricity services for two rural island communities. Projects like this are essential to quality of life for residents who live in rural areas of our state.”
Fox Islands Electric Coop provides electric service to more than 2,000 consumers over 184 miles of line on two Maine island communities, North Haven and Vinalhaven, about 10 miles off the east coast of central Maine.
The loans are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, which is the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 54 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.