Investments will Benefit 1.5 million Residents and Businesses
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.4 billion in projects in 21 states to build and improve rural electric infrastructure.
“Modern and reliable electric infrastructure has been a cornerstone to rural prosperity since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936,” Secretary Perdue said. “This funding we are providing is critical to rural communities and reflects President Trump’s commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program. It will help build and improve 6,886 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $255.8 million for investments in smart grid infrastructure that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.
Among the loans announced today is a $7,338,000 loan made to the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative based in Mora, New Mexico. This investment made by USDA Rural Development will be used to build and improve 102 miles of distribution line. The loan also includes $83,380 for smart grid technologies. A smart grid system is a self-sufficient electricity network system based on digital automation technology for monitoring, control, and analysis within the supply chain, which will provide better electric service. When the upgrades and construction is completed this construction project will provide electricity to 364 new customers. Mora-San Miguel provides electric service to 9,386 customers over 1,961 miles of electric transmission line in four counties in north central New Mexico.
USDA Rural Development New Mexico State Director Arthur A. Garcia commented, "The expansion and upgrading of the Mora-San Miguel Electric system will give residents of northern New Mexico better and more reliable electric service.” Garcia added, “Also, by improving the electrical service in northern New Mexico, Rural Development is helping to boost economic development by creating opportunities for growth.”
USDA announced investments today in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visitwww.rd.usda.gov.