USDA reaches rural smart grid funding goal


Tom Vilsack,
U.S. Agriculture
Raleigh, NC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 12, 2012 – With the latest round of funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reached its goal of financing $250 million on smart grid technologies in the nation’s rural areas.

“Grid modernization and deployment of ‘smart grid’ technology will increase the reliability and efficiency of electric power generation,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in making the announcement. “Providing reliable, affordable electrical service contributes to stronger rural economies and is the backbone for a prosperous rural America.”

The loan funding for smart grid technology deployment forms part of the USDA’s Rural Utility Service, which is focused on upgrading the electric grid in rural America.

The latest round of loans totals almost $27 million in smart grid investments, as follows:

  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (CO/NE/NM/WY) – $21,756,000
  • Ark Valley Electric Cooperative Association, Inc. (KS) – $2,014,500
  • Stearns Cooperative Electric Association (MN) – $974,085
  • Agralite Electric Cooperative (MN) – $180,968
  • Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative (MO/IA) – $500,000
  • Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation (NC) – $1,084,728
  • Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative (WI) – $255,833.

The $27 million in smart grid funding forms part of a total $269 million in loan guarantees that were made for transmission and distribution and other system improvements.