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While touring Piedmont Electric Membership Corp.'s facilities in North Carolina last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the department has reached its $250 million goal to finance smart grid technologies.

Vilsack also announced that nine rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 10 states will receive loan guarantees to make smart-grid-related improvements to generation and transmission facilities.

As part of President Obama's Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, the administration has outlined a framework for a modernized electric system that lays out a number of public and private initiatives, including a goal of $250 million in loans for smart grid technology deployment as part of the USDA's Rural Utility Service.

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:

Colorado/Nebraska/New Mexico/Wyoming

  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. - $140,483,000 loan. Funds will be used to build 50 miles of transmission lines and make upgrades to the existing generation and transmission facilities. The loan amount includes $21,756,000 in smart grid projects and $808,780 in environmental improvements.

Kansas

  • The Ark Valley Electric Cooperative Association Inc. - $6.13 million loan. Funds will be used to build and improve 355 miles of distribution lines and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2,014,500 in smart grid projects.

Minnesota

  • Stearns Cooperative Electric Association - $23,654,000 loan. The cooperative will improve 147 miles of distribution lines and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $974,085 in smart grid projects.
  • Agralite Electric Cooperative - $5,159,000 loan. Funds will be used to build and improve 61 miles of distribution lines and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $180,968 in smart grid projects.

Missouri/Iowa

  • Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative - $30,093,000 loan. Funds will be used to build and improve 24 miles of transmission lines, build three new substations and make other improvements. The loan amount includes $500,000 in smart grid projects.

North Carolina

  • Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corp. - $6.41 million loan. The cooperative will build and improve 310 miles of distribution lines and two miles of transmission lines, as well as make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $1,084,728 in smart grid projects.
  • Piedmont Electric Membership Corp. - $30 million loan. Funds will be used to build and improve 108 miles of distribution lines and five miles of transmission lines, as well as to make other system improvements.
  • Brunswick Electric Membership Corp. - $21.5 million loan. Funds will be used to build and improve 220 miles of distribution lines and make other system improvements.

Wisconsin

  • Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative - $6 million loan. Funds will be used to build and improve 88 miles of distribution lines and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $255,833 in smart grid projects.





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