Anchorage, Oct 13, 2011 -- Funding through USDA-RD’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative, Inc., a subsidiary of Homer Electric Association (HEA), was announced today for a guaranteed loan from the Federal Financing Bank in the amount of $150,000,000.
This investment will help address the growing need for electric service in the Kenai Peninsula area. These investments also help rural utilities improve their delivery and storage of renewable energy to generate electricity; help better manage power use; provide rate stability for businesses and create the climate for job growth in rural Alaska.
Homer Electric Association General Manager Brad Janorschke said the $150 million RUS loan will be used to finance Homer Electric’s generation projects known as Independent Light.
“The primary component of Independent Light is the Nikiski Combined Cycle Conversion Project in Nikiski, Alaska. Upon completion of the project, the capacity of the Nikiski Generation Plant will double, from 40 megawatts to as much as 80 megawatts. Independent Light will also include the installation of up to two aero-derivative gas turbines at a Homer Electric facility in Soldotna,” said Janorschke.
“This RUS loan will provide long-term debt financing for our Independent Light generation projects. The favorable interest rate will save our members over $100 million in interest expense over the 30-year loan term. The bottom line is our members will benefit from the partnership between RUS and Homer Electric,” stated Janorschke.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America's rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining, and thriving economically.
USDA Rural Development administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
For more information, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov