(ATHENS, Ga., June 22, 2020) – The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.6 billion to build or improve rural electric infrastructure in 21 states. Nearly $65 million is invested in Georgia.
“Reliable and modern 21st century infrastructure, including electric infrastructure and smart grid technologies, is a cornerstone for prosperity in rural America,” Secretary Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures.”
USDA is providing loans and loan guarantees to rural electric cooperatives and utilities through the Electric Loan Program. The recipients will use the funds to build and improve 9,138 miles of electric transmission and distribution line, benefiting 1 million rural residents and businesses. The loans include nearly $386 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.
The investments announced today are being made in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
For example, in Georgia:
Washington Electric Membership Corporation, headquartered in Sandersville, Ga., will use $15.462.000 to connect 1,143 consumers and build and improve 132 miles of line. This loan includes $2,830,000 in smart grid technologies.
Irwin EMC, headquartered in Ocilla, Ga., will use $14,000,000 loan to connect 899 consumers and build 111 new miles of line. Irwin EMC serves eight counties in south central Georgia.
Habersham Electric Membership Corporation will use $19,532,000 to connect 2,216 consumers and build and improve 73 miles of line. This loan includes $3,287,000 in smart grid technologies. Habersham Electric is headquartered in Clarkesville, Ga., and serves six counties in east central Georgia.
Slash Pines Electric Membership Corporation will use $16,000,000 to connect 1,107 consumers and build and improve 197 miles of line. This loan includes $795,055 in smart grid technologies. Slash Pine is headquartered in Homerville, Ga and serves eight counties in southeastern Georgia.
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.
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