Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says rural electric cooperatives in eight states will upgrade services to more than 24,000 rural consumers with loan guarantee financing provided by USDA. Vilsack made the announcement during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Vilsack said the Obama Administration supports investment in the country's energy infrastructure as part of our commitment to 'win the future.'
The $442 million in funding is being awarded through USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service to assist electric utilities with upgrades, expansion, maintenance, and replacement of rural America's electric infrastructure. Over $9 million of these loans will support investments in smart grid technology through the use of automated metering.
The guarantees include one for $45 million to the Talquin Electric Cooperative in Florida. Two other loans will go Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative and East Texas Electric Cooperative.