Last week, the USDA announced a multimillion-dollar investment in rural electronic infrastructure projects. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack cited past investment in rural electrical power infrastructure as he emphasized the importance of bringing smart grid technology and more reliable connectivity to more remote areas of the U.S. The $349 million in funding will mostly go to the construction of power distribution facilities in various states.
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“…the Macon Electric Cooperative in Missouri has been selected to receive a $15.2 million loan to build or improve 51 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $2 million for smart grid projects. The Douglas Electric Cooperative, Inc. in South Dakota is receiving $1.3 million to build and improve 15 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $270,000 for smart grid projects. The Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative will receive a $25.5 million loan to build or improve 171 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $2 million for smart grid projects and $222,000 for service to Native Americans. The total of $349 million in electric loans includes a $44 million loan to Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative announced by Vilsack on July 17.”