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.
Highline Electric Association, based in Holyoke, Colo., is receiving a $39 million loan to connect 402 consumers, and build and improve 262 miles of line. The loan includes $11.4 million in smart grid technologies. Highline serves more than 10,000 customers through 5,168 miles of line in seven counties in northeastern Colorado and four counties in southwestern Nebraska.
“This funding awarded today will help to reduce electricity and meter reading costs for rural residents in Northeast Colorado,” said Sallie Clark, USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director. “We congratulate Highline Electric and their team in Holyoke for this important USDA partnership opportunity”.
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 in Colorado, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.
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