Lincoln, Nebraska, May 07, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development has announced that Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. of Denver, Colorado will receive a guaranteed electric loan of nearly $73 million to improve electric services to rural areas in parts of Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
The funds will be used to upgrade and modify existing generation and transmission facilities, improve 50 miles of transmission line, add one new substation and make other system improvements. It includes $18,678,000 for smart grid projects. This project portion for Nebraska will encompass the rebuild of the 15.3 mile Ogallala-Roscoe 115 kilo-volt line that will increase the capacity from 127 mega-volt-ampere to 232 mega-volt-ampere. A new $1.16 million Ogallala Transmission Field Facility will also be a part of the project as well as a few smaller projects included among the the transmission projects.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.