USDA Announces Loans to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure

USDA says approximately 450,000 residents and commercial customers will benefit from new loans announced Thursday designed to improve rural electric services in the Carolinas as well as 15 other states.

USDA says  from the loans . Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley made the announcement of the loans valued at $858 million. Baxley says the investment “creates jobs and helps deliver services such as education, training and health care to build stronger rural communities.”

The Edisto Electric Cooperative in South Carolina will receive $30,000,000 to build and improve 319 miles of line and invest $3.2 million in smart grid technologies.

The Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corp. will receive $38,969,000 to build and improve 277 miles of line to connect 2,370 new customers in North Carolina and Georgia.

Carroll Electric Cooperative of Arkansas and Missouri received the largest loan, valued at $263 million for nearly 1,000 miles of electric line improvements and smart grid technologies. A $94 million loan for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Generation in Arizona and Utah will use part of the funds to build a 55.1-megawatt solar facility.

Other funded projects for electric cooperatives are located in the Carolinas, Kentucky, the Dakotas,  Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas.