BISMARCK, ND, Oct 19, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider today announced funding to modernize and improve the efficiency of North Dakota electric generation and transmission systems.
“USDA is proud to partner with our rural electric cooperatives to improve system services for businesses and residential consumers,” said Schneider. “Today’s announcement includes loans for five projects that will help utilities modernize their operations and rural America’s electric grid.”
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loans include $3.6 million in smart grid technologies. This technology utilizes an electric grid to gather and act on information improving the efficiency, reliability, cost effectiveness, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity.
The following is a list of rural utilities that will receive USDA funding.
• Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (Williston): $54,000,000, Funds will be used in North Dakota and Montana to build and improve 520 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $659,800 in smart grid projects.
• Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (Grand Forks): $308,700,000. Funds will be used in North Dakota and Minnesota to build 260 miles of transmission line. The loan amount includes $2,800,000 in smart grid projects.
• Central Power Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Minot): $5,025,000. Funds will be used for a new facility.
• McLean Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Garrison): $9,750,000. Funds will be used to build and improve 106 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $169,600 in smart grid projects.
• Northern Plains Electric Cooperative (Cando): $25,214,000. Funds will be used to build and improve 320 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2,422,000 in smart grid projects.
Dennis Hill, general manager of the ND Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, said North Dakota electric cooperatives have a 75 year history working with RUS.
“USDA is a key component of the capital required to build and renew electric lines and facilities,” said Hill. “The agency has loaned billions of dollars to our state’s electric cooperatives to build generation, transmission and distribution facilities to extend electricity to every corner of the state. This investment is being paid back on time and with interest. We continue to view USDA as important partners in our quest to improve the quality of life for our members and the communities in which they live.”
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to be committed to the future of rural committees. It is made up of three agencies including Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business Service, and Rural Housing Service. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/nd.