Federal Funds to Boost Rural Projects

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Some Indiana projects are part of a federal program to fund electric service improvements in rural areas. More than $15 million in loans will help finance initiatives in three parts of the state. Southern Indian Rural Electric Cooperative will recieve $8.5 million in financing for system improvements, including smart grid projects.

The Orange County Rural Electric Memership Corp. is receiving a $6.5 million loan for similar efforts.

Butler Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. is receiving a loan of $6.6. million for improvements in Ohio and Indiana.

May 6, 2014

News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for projects in 18 states to improve electric service to business and residential consumers in rural areas. The $540 million in loan guarantees to fund these projects are made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural utilities program. They include more than $35 million for smart grid projects to improve rural electric system communications technology.

“Electric reliability is a critical component of the success of our rural economy. Today’s loans will help continue to ensure the safety, reliability and affordability of electric service in rural areas,” Vilsack said. “This funding is part of the Obama Administration’s vision for a new rural energy economy. Investments in smart grid technologies help rural electric cooperatives improve system operations to meet the needs of rural customers.”

In Louisiana, Rural Development will finance more than $200 million in loan guarantees to build or improve approximately 642 miles of line and finance more than $2.3 million in smart grid technologies. Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation will receive $35 million to finance more than 400 miles of line and $5.4 million in smart grid technologies.

View the full list of rural electric utilities that will receive USDA funding. Awards are contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

The Obama Administration has invested more than $28 billion in rural electric infrastructure nationwide since 2009.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)

Rural Electric Utility Loan Recipients May 2014

Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

-Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation – $35 million. Funds will be used to serve more than 1,900 customers, build or improve 438 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $5.4 million for smart grid projects.

Arkansas

-C & L Electric Cooperative Corporation – $32.6 million. Funds will be used to serve about 2,600 consumers, build or improve 384 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $829,000 for smart grid projects.

Georgia

-Canoochee Electric Membership Corporation – $19 million. Funds will be used to serve 1,800 consumers, build or improve 130 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2.4 million for smart grid projects.

Indiana

-Southern Indiana Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $8.5 million. Funds will be used to serve 400 customers, build or improve 119 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $673,000 for smart grid projects.

-Orange County Rural Electric Membership Corporation – $6.5 million. Funds will be used to serve 400 customers, build or improve 45 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan includes almost $622,000 for smart grid projects.

Ohio, Indiana

-Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $6.6 million. Funds will be used to serve 180 customers, build or improve 46 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $264,000 for smart grid projects.

Louisiana

-Dixie EMC – $200 million. Funds will be used to serve almost 10,000 customers, build or improve 642 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $2.3 million for smart grid projects.

Maine

-Fox Islands Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $593,000. Funds will be used to improve 9 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $135,000 for smart grid projects.

Michigan

-Alger-Delta Cooperative Electric Association – $7 million. Funds will be used to serve 440 consumers, build or improve 108 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $70,000 for smart grid projects and $175,000 for service to Native Americans.

Missouri

-Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative Association – $7.2 million. Funds will be used to serve 260 customers, build or improve 47 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $96,000 for smart grid projects.

-Three Rivers Electric Cooperative – $15 million. Funds will be used to serve over 1,000 customers, build or improve 132 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $4.6 million for smart grid projects.

Missouri, Iowa

-Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative – $7 million. Funds will be used to build one substation and make other system improvements. The loan includes $10,000 for smart grid projects.

North Carolina

-Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation – $25 million. Funds will be used to serve about 3,800 customers, build or improve 205 miles of line and make other system improvements.

North Dakota

-Central Power Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $29 million. Funds will be used to build one new substation and 56 miles of line and upgrade existing facilities.

Ohio

-Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $12 million. Funds will be used to improve 144 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $563,000 for smart grid projects.

Oklahoma

-Red River Valley Electric Association – $4.8 million. Funds will be used to serve 500 customers, build or improve 32 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $117,000 for projects to serve Native Americans.

South Carolina

-Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $42 million. Funds will be used to serve 2,200 customers, build or improve 299 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $5,912,914 for smart grid projects.

Tennessee, Mississippi

-Pickwick Electric Cooperative – $10 million. Funds will be used to serve 1,800 customers, build or improve 452 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $182,000 for smart grid projects.

Texas

-Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $15 million. Funds will be used to serve 2,300 customers, build or improve 447 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $4.1 million for smart grid projects.

-Hamilton County Electric Cooperative Association – $10 million. Funds will be used to serve 1,300 customers, build or improve 17