|SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES $8.86 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR KAW VALLEY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE|
|Topeka, Kan., Oct 19, 2012
@@Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding to modernize and improve the efficiency of rural electric generation and transmission systems. Several of the loans contain support for smart grid projects.
“USDA and the Obama Administration continue to fund electric projects to improve system reliability and efficiency for rural businesses and residential consumers,” Vilsack said. “A strong American economy is contingent upon a strong rural economy. Infrastructure investments like these will promote job growth."
In Kansas, the Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., based in Topeka received $8.86 million to build and improve more than 100 miles of electrical distribution lines and make improvements to two electrical substations. The project will serve approximately 3,800 of the cooperative’s 9,400 members. Six counties are served by the Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative: Douglas, Jackson, Osage, Pottawatomie, Shawnee and Wabaunsee. In the next four years, the cooperative has projected a growth of approximately 410 members.
“The cooperative is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and USDA has been a big part of what we do as a business over the years,” stated Jerry Manning, Manager of Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative. “Through USDA financing, the cooperative is able to obtain low-interest financing to enhance the reliability of its electrical system to better serve our customers.”
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 $107.5 million in loan guarantees includes nearly $3 million in smart grid technologies. According to Manning, roughly 4,000 of Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative customers already have automatic meter reading capabilities.
The loan guarantees are provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service. USDA also funds energy conservation and renewable energy projects. The following is a list of additional rural utilities that received funding today, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
Arizona, California and New Mexico
• Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: $34,028,000. Funds will be used to finance generation system improvements for the Apache Station. The loan includes $2,052,000 in environmental improvements.
• Satilla Rural Electric Membership Corporation: $13,000,000. Funds will be used to serve 4,517 customers, build and improve almost 400 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements.
• Clarke Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $4,200,000. Funds will be used to serve over 100 customers, build seven miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $684,476 for storm damage restoration.
• Central Power Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $5,024,000. Funds will be used to build a new headquarters facility.
• McLean Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $9,500,000. Funds will be used to serve 563 customers, build and improve over 100 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $169,600 in smart grid projects.
• Northern Plains Electric Cooperative: $25,214,000. Funds will be used to serve over 500 customers, build and improve 320 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $2,422,000 in smart grid projects.
• Jump River Electric Cooperative, Inc.: $7,700,000. Funds will be used to serve 462 customers, build and improve 64 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $314,658 in smart grid projects.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development 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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).