rural electric

USDA Investment in Rural Electric Infrastructure

Dan Agri-Business, Energy, Funding, This Land of Ours

Putting billions into rural electric infrastructure. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

rural electric

The USDA is investing $2.7 billion to help 64 electric cooperatives and utilities expand and modernize the nation’s rural electric grid and increase grid security. The announcement came from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday. He said the investments will benefit rural people and businesses in many ways for decades to come.

“This funding will help rural cooperatives and utilities invest in changes that make our energy more efficient, more reliable, and more affordable. Investing in infrastructure – roads, bridges, broadband, and energy – supports good-paying jobs and keeps the United States poised to lead the global economy,” he said.


The loans include $613 million to help rural utilities and cooperatives install and upgrade smart grid technologies. Smart grid can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services in unserved and underserved rural areas in addition to improving grid security and reliability. Nearly half of the awards will help finance infrastructure improvements in underserved communities.

USDA’s Electric Loan Program can help finance wind, solar, and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce cleaner energy from coal-fired plants. Local utilities also use the loans to invest in infrastructure to deliver affordable power to millions of residential, commercial, and agricultural consumers.

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USDA Investment in Rural Electric Infrastructure

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.