Co-ops Get $202M in Power Loans

The latest round of loans from the Rural Utilities Service will direct $202 million for transmission and distribution projects to electric cooperatives in nine states.

The Rural Utilities Service is distributing $2020 million in infrastructure loans toe electric co-ops. (Photo By: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Rural Utilities Service is distributing $202 million in infrastructure loans toe electric co-ops. (Photo By: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Roger Glendenning, acting deputy undersecretary for rural development at the Department of Agriculture, made the announcement Feb. 28.

"USDA continues to be a partner with cooperatives and utilities to expand and modernize the rural electric grid," Glendenning said. "These loans represent the latest efforts to create jobs, help grow the rural economy, and support new technology."

The money comes from the RUS Electric Loan Program, which provides low-cost loans and loan guarantees, generally with a repayment period not to exceed 35 years.

The $202 million includes $14.7 million in smart grid enhancements ranging from metering and computer applications to geospatial information systems.

Among the recipients is Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Hazen, North Dakota. Roughrider will receive $68 million to build or improve 453 miles of power lines and make system upgrades, with about $1.2 million directed toward smart grid projects.

In Ohio, North Baltimore-based Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative is slated to get $25 million for work on 191 miles of power lines and other improvements. Approximately $2.6 million will support smart grid initiatives.

Another $44 million is earmarked for Aiken Electric Cooperative, Aiken, South Carolina. The co-op will build and improve 342 miles of lines, while investing $9 million in smart grid.

The full list of recipients is available from USDA.

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