USDA invests in S.D. rural electric | TSLN.com

USDA invests in S.D. rural electric

Huron, SD, Sept. 18, 2014 – USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks today announced that USDA is investing more than $69 million in rural electric cooperatives to improve the delivery of electric power to communities in South Dakota.

Meek's announcement follows Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's recent announcement highlighting that USDA is investing more than $518 million in 15 states for rural electric infrastructure. This funding is part of nearly $50 billion nationwide that USDA has invested in infrastructure improvements since 2009.

"We must invest in America's infrastructure to promote sustainable economic development in our rural and urban communities," Vilsack said during a White House summit on infrastructure financing. "Enhancements to the nation's electric grid make a huge difference for communities across the country and support President Obama's efforts to build a stronger rural economy."

More than $23 million of the funding is targeted for smart grid improvements, which better manage and increase efficiencies in our nation's electric system. Smart grid technologies, such as automated meter reading and load management automation, allow for more efficient control over the use of power to better meet customers' needs. USDA has a long history, dating back to 1935, of working with rural utilities to deliver infrastructure and service improvements. Through the years, these investments have brought new economic and social opportunities and have enhanced the quality of life in the nation's rural communities.

The investments announced today are provided through USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which also administers infrastructure programs that bring broadband, safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment facilities to rural communities.

In South Dakota:

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Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. based in Mitchell will receive $14,343,000 to build or improve 222 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $784,652 for smart grid projects and funds to service Native Americans.

FEM Electric Association, Inc. based in Ipswich will receive $5,752,000 to build or improve 197 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $259,640 for smart grid projects and $1,335,000 for restoration due to storm damage.

H-D Electric Cooperative, Inc. based in Clear Lake will receive $6,385,000 to build or improve 102 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $459,439 for smart grid projects.

West River Electric Association based in Rapid City will receive $22,870,000 to build or improve 160 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $403,797 for smart grid projects and $1,050,000 used for restoration due to storm damage.

Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. based in Milbank will receive $7,500,000 to build or improve 86 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $572,708 for smart grid projects and funds to service Native Americans.

South Dakota and Nebraska

Cherry-Todd ECI based in Mission, S.D., will receive $14,884,000 ($12,390,300 for South Dakota and $2,493,700 for Nebraska) to build or improve 101 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $1,998,018 for smart grid projects and funds for Native Americans.

The following is a list of the other loan recipients and projects receiving funding in the region.

Colorado

Morgan County REA – $10,346,000. To build or improve 97 miles of line, and make other system improvements.

Minnesota

Crow Wing Cooperative Power and Light Company – $21,000,000. To build or improve 168 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $858,524 for smart grid projects.

Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $6,198,000. To build or improve 70 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $540,491 for smart grid projects.

Montana

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $16,166,000. To build or improve 144 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $3,402,800 for smart grid projects.

North Dakota

Cass County Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $36,300,000. To build or improve 771 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $8,947,760 for smart grid projects.

Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Inc. – $50,000,000. To build or improve 687 miles of line, and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $138,000 for smart grid projects and funds allocated for service to Native Americans.

–USDA

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