USDA Bldg. Washington D.C. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Billy Hathorn)
USDA Bldg. Washington D.C. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Billy Hathorn)

This past week the United States Department of Agriculture announced $181 million in loans for electricity projects in 10 states.

The loans are part of the USDA’s Electric Loan Program, through which approved projects have up to 35 years to pay back the loan and are, in some cases, 100% backed by the Federal Financing Bank.

The states who received the loans are Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

Kentucky, Kansas Win Multiple Loans

Of the 10 states that received loans, Kentucky and Kansas were the only two to receive multiple loans.

Kentucky’s Fleming-Mason Energy Cooperative and Licking Valley Rural Electric Cooperative received a combined $38.08 million, according to USDA records.

Those records indicate Fleming-Mason will use the loan “to build and improve 295 miles of line” and invest in smart grid technologies. These two projects will benefit 24,400 ratepayers “across 3,624 miles of line”.

The USDA awarded $20.1 million to Kansas companies Ninnescah Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative.

The money will go toward a variety of projects included improvement of more than 140 miles of line and smart grid technology. More than 15,000 ratepayers will benefit from the upgrades and innovation, USDA records say.

Biggest Loan Goes to Texas

The USDA approved a $27.37 million loan for Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative (DETEC), who will use the money to improve 218 miles of line, connect 2,000 new customers and improve its smart grid technology.

“The 2018-2020 Construction Work Plan that the current loan provides for will not require a rate increase to (our) members. The loan will fund the replacement costs of an aging substation, upgrades to four substations, and line upgrades and extensions to support the forecasted member growth through the forthcoming three-year work plan period.”DETEC General Manager Bryan Wood told Energy Pages.

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