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To further improvements to electric lines and transmission and reduce peak electric loads by deploying smart grid technologies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has issued loan guarantees to rural electric utilities across the country.

USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, on behalf of Vilsack, made the announcement while visiting the offices of Crewe, Va.-based Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC), one of the recipients. The cooperative is using funds to build and improve a distribution line and transmission line, and will invest almost $7.4 million for smart grid system enhancements. In all, the USDA says service will be upgraded for about 1,500 SEC members.

"Maintaining and upgrading rural electric systems improves system reliability, creates jobs and supports economic development," says Vilsack. "With these loans, we are continuing to help cooperatives provide reliable service to rural residents. A significant portion of this funding will go to smart grid technologies, helping consumers lower their electric bills and reducing peak demand for producers."

With this funding, USDA Rural Development moves closer to reaching Secretary Vilsack's goal to fund more than $250 million for smart grid technologies. This most recent announcement includes support for nearly $29 million in smart grid projects.

The following is a list of rural utilities that will receive USDA funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement:

Idaho/Oregon/Washington

Clearwater Power Co. - $13,524,000. Funds will be used to serve about 500 consumers, build and improve 132 miles of distribution line and five miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements.

Indiana


Whitewater Valley Rural Electric Membership Corp. - $12,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 240 consumers, build and improve 121 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $519,405 in smart grid projects.

Kansas

Leavenworth-Jefferson Electric Cooperative Inc. - $7,580,000. Funds will be used to serve 375 consumers, build and improve 100 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $104,028 in smart grid projects.

Kentucky

Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. - $22,894,000. Funds will be used to serve about 2,800 customers, build and improve 248 miles of distribution and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $232,800 in smart grid projects.

Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. - $13,000,000. Funds will be used to serve about 3,300 consumers, build and improve 216 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements.

Minnesota

Lake Region Electric Cooperative - $27,151,000. Funds will be used to serve about 1,300 consumers, build and improve 151 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,297,855 in smart grid projects.

Mississippi

Coast Electric Power Association - $51,766,000. Funds will be used to serve 9,240 consumers, build and improve 246 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $128,000 in smart grid projects.

North Carolina

Central Electric Membership Corp. - $22,000,000. Funds will be used to serve about 2,800 consumers, build and improve 102 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $278,800 in smart grid projects.


New York

Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. - $9,362,000. Funds will be used to serve 318 consumers, build and improve 121 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $706,050 in smart grid projects.

Oklahoma

Northwestern Electric Cooperative Inc. - $18,306,000. Funds will be used to serve 912 customers, build and improve 134 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $843,400 in smart grid projects.

South Carolina


Central Electric Power Cooperative Inc. - $44,347,000. Funds will be used to build 77 miles of new transmission line.

South Dakota/Minnesota


East River Electric Power Cooperative Inc. - $62,207,000. Funds will be used to build 44 miles of transmission line, three new substations, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,951,000 in smart grid projects.

South Dakota/Iowa/Minnesota


Sioux Valley - Southwestern Electric Cooperative Inc - $39,098,000. Funds will be used to serve over 1,400 consumers, build and improve 618 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,585,806 in smart grid projects.

South Dakota/Montana/North Dakota


Grand Electric Cooperative Inc. - $14,164,000. Funds will be used to serve 153 consumers, build and improve 185 miles of distribution line and one mile of transmission line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $1,480,903 in smart grid projects.

Texas


Comanche County Electric Cooperative Association - $18,469,000. Funds will be used to serve 1,068 customers, build and improve 143 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $6,551,790 in smart grid projects.

Virginia

Southside Electric Cooperative - $44,881,000. Funds will be used to serve 1,460 customers, build and improve over 700 miles of distribution line and nine miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $7,352,881 in smart grid projects.




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