The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has selected 50 rural utilities and cooperatives in 31 states to receive guaranteed loans that will benefit more than 183,000 rural electric cooperative consumers by financing the construction and repair of more than 15,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines, including more than $310 million invested in renewable energy.
The $2.9 billion is funded by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service.
The USDA says the funding assists with upgrades, expansion, maintenance, and replacement of rural America's electric transmission, distribution lines and generating equipment. The Electric Program also helps fund energy conservation and renewable energy projects.
For example, Bismarck, N.D.-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative has been selected for $153.4 million in loan guarantees for two wind projects. Together these projects will provide 120 MW of renewable electricity. Combined with Basin's previous wind investments, they are expected to represent over 600 MW of wind generation.
USDA, through its rural development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and nearly 500 state and local offices.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture