USDA to Boost Rural Electric Grid Efficiency and Reliability in 8 States

May 22, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 29 announced funding for four rural electric projects in eight states—Colorado, Georgia, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wyoming. The announcement touts more than $126 million in loans to upgrade rural electric infrastructure, including more than $20 million in Smart Grid funding, used to increase access to information to better manage electricity use. Since 2011, USDA has supported Smart Grid investments totaling nearly $500 million.

One of the rural electric cooperatives that will receive funding is Colorado's Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., which serves 44 consumer-owned distribution cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. It is receiving a $73 million loan to upgrade generation and transmission facilities, improve 50 miles of transmission lines, and build a substation. The loan amount includes more than $18 million for Smart Grid projects. See the USDA press release.