Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says rural electric cooperative utilities will receive loans to fund smart grid technologies and improvements to generation and transmission facilities. These loans will benefit more than 19-thousand rural consumers in 14 states. Secretary Vilsack says – investments in smart grid technologies will give rural electric utilities and their consumers one more tool to better manage use of electricity, increase reliability and lower costs.
Among the rural electric cooperative utilities that will receive funding are Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., which serves Indiana and parts of Illinois; and Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Inc. The 900-million dollars in loans are provided by USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service to help electric utilities upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural America’s electric infrastructure.