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.
“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.
“This administration is arguably making the most sustained, intensive investment in rural infrastructure since the Great Depression,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen. “We are connecting Michigan’s rural communities as never before.”
The Thumb Electric Cooperative of Michigan is receiving $26,575,000 to connect 252 consumers, and build and improve 97 miles of line. This loan includes $3,360,800 in smart grid technologies. Thumb Electric, headquartered in Ubly, Mich., serves an average of 12,000 members over 2,141 miles of line in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties in eastern Michigan.
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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