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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $188 million in loan guarantees to upgrade rural electric infrastructure, including more than $18 million in smart grid funding. Since 2011, the agency says Rural Utilities Service borrowers have used USDA funding to invest nearly $464 million in smart grid improvements.

Rural utilities that received loans under this USDA funding round include the following:

- Florida-based Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc. - $44.6 million. Funds will be used for transmission system improvements. The loan amount includes $256,690 for smart grid projects.

- Georgia-based Rayle Electric Membership Corp. - $10 million. Funds will be used to serve 835 consumers, build 163 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2.1 million for smart grid projects.

- Minnesota-based Goodhue County Cooperative Electric Association - $7 million. Funds will be used to serve about 150 consumers, build 72 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $126,451 for smart grid projects.

- Missouri-based Central Electric Power Cooperative - $59.1 million. Funds will be used to build two new substations, improve 21 miles of transmission line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $13.8 million for smart grid projects.

For a full list of the new recipients, click here.


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