The USDA has announced $1.4 billion in USDA loans for businesses in 21 states to improve the delivery of electric power to rural communities. The funding allocates $106 million for smart grid technology and $3 million for renewable energy programs and systems. 5,175 miles of transmission and distribution lines will be built or improved as part of these investments.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said “with the help of investments such as these from USDA; rural electric utilities have delivered reliable and affordable electricity for nearly 80 years. Upgrading the electric grid will bring jobs and increased economic opportunities to rural communities.”