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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 12 states will receive $330 million in loan guarantees to improve generation and transmission facilities and implement smart grid technologies.

The funding, which the department says will help address the U.S.' infrastructure challenges, includes support for more than $8 million in smart grid technologies.

One of the utilities selected for funding is North Dakota's Central Power Electric Cooperative. It plans to use a $33.7 million loan guarantee to build 141 miles of transmission line and make other system improvements. Kansas' Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association will receive an $11 million loan guarantee to build 108 miles of distribution line. The loan includes $220,000 for smart grid projects.

In Oklahoma, the Cotton Electric Cooperative won a $24.8 million loan guarantee to build 229 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $1.3 million for smart grid projects.

For a full list of recipients, click here.

Last September, Vilsack announced that the USDA had reached its $250 million goal to finance smart grid projects, and the department has since surpassed that goal with various additional rounds of funding. (Some co-ops told Renew Grid in October what they plan to do with their loan guarantees. Click here to read more.)








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