Washington, D.C., Sep 20, 2012 --
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the latest in a series of loan guarantees to finance improved efficiency and modernization rural electric generation and transmission systems.
“These loan guarantees will bring expanded, modern electric services to rural businesses and residential customers,” Vilsack said. “Several of the loans include funding to help utilities and cooperatives adopt smart grid technologies to modernize electric systems.”
One of the guaranteed loan recipients is Nobles Cooperative Electric, which serves several counties in southwestern Minnesota as well as Lyon and Osceola counties in northwestern Iowa. Nobles has been selected for a $6.7 million loan guarantee to build and improve 63 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $850,000 in smart grid projects.
Residents elsewhere in Iowa will benefit from loans to rural utilities and cooperatives. Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. is receiving a $24.6 million loan guarantee to build new substations, a new switching station and a spare transformer to improve service for customers in Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma.
The Gundy Electric Cooperative, Inc., which serves customers in Iowa and Missouri, has been selected for a $5 million loan guarantee to build and improve 18 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes over $700,000 in smart grid projects.
Secretary Vilsack announced earlier this month that USDA met its goal to finance $250 million in smart grid technologies in fiscal year 2012. Today's announcement includes support for nearly $10 million in smart grid technologies.
The following is a list of rural utilities in Iowa that will receive USDA funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
Minnesota and Iowa
• Nobles Cooperative Electric – $6,700,000. Funds will be used to serve 152 consumers, build and improve 63 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $854,100 in smart grid projects.
Missouri and Iowa
• Grundy Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $5,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 332 consumers, build and improve 18 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $703,000 in smart grid projects.
Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma
• Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $24,628,000. Funds will be used to build new substations, one new switching station and a spare transformer.
The $168 million in loan guarantees announced today are provided by USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service. The funding helps electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America’s electric infrastructure. USDA Rural Development also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling (515) 284-4747 or by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of grant and direct and guaranteed loan programs for single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and industry programs.
For information on other RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 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.
# # #