SW IA Electric Co-ops receive a combined $16-million to improve electric service

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today (Thursday) announced funding for projects in seven states, to improve electric service for about 7,000 rural customers. Rural Utilities Service Administrator John Padalino made the announcement on the Secretary’s behalf during a regional meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The loan guarantees are made available through the Rural Utilities Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. They include more than $5 million for smart grid projects and nearly $3 million to improve electric service for Native Americans.

In Iowa, the Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc., based in Greenfield, will receive $10 million. The funds will be used to serve 305 customers, build 273 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $60,000 for smart grid projects. And, the Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative based in Stanton, is receiving $6 million. The funds will be used to serve 336 customers, build 133 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $145,711 for smart grid projects.

Officials say altogether, the more than $136 million in USDA loan guarantees will help build more than 2,200 miles of line, fund more than $5 million in smart grid projects and make other system improvements.