Washington, DC, Oct 11, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding totaling $1.95 billion in loan guarantees to modernize and improve the efficiency of rural electric generation and transmission systems all across the county, including a $10 million loan guarantee to Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative.
“USDA and the Obama administration continue to make key investments in rural electric cooperatives that will modernize service and improve reliability for rural businesses and residential customers,” Vilsack said. “Today’s announcement also includes funding that will enable rural electric cooperatives and utilities to adopt smart grid technologies in their operation as part of the ongoing efforts to modernize rural America's electric grid.”
Secretary Vilsack announced in August that USDA had met its goal to finance $250 million in smart grid technologies in fiscal year 2012. Today’s announcement includes additional support of $134 million in smart grid technologies.
Southern Iowa Electric Cooperative, Inc. in Iowa is receiving $10 million in funding to build and improve 106 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan guarantee includes $135,000 in smart grid projects and $2,043,387 for storm damage projects.
Funding announced today is also going to assist electrical projects in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
The 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. The agency also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
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) 284-4663 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.
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.
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