USDA invests $1.4 billion to improve rural electric infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service on Oct. 16 awarded $1.4 billion in loan guarantees to 35 organizations to improve the delivery of electric power to rural communities in 21 states.

The funding includes $106 million for smart grid technologies. Total FY 2014 funding from the USDA for smart grid technologies is more than $186 million. USDA has invested nearly $2.5 billion in electric infrastructure improvements in FY 2014 and almost $31 billion since 2009.

A portion of this round of funding will benefit renewable energy programs and systems. Cornelius, N.C.-based O2 Energies will use a $3 million loan to build a 3.5 MW solar project in Rockwell, N.C. The total project cost is just over $10 million. O2 Energies will develop, own, and operate the project.

This round of recipients will use the funding to improve or build about 5,200 miles of transmission and distribution lines.

Among recipients is Georgia-based Sawnee Electric Membership Corp., which received a $161 million loan guarantee. Sawnee will use the funding for its four-year construction work plan benefiting about 800 miles of distribution lines, a spokesperson for the company told TransmissionHub on Oct. 17. About $6 million of the funding will be dedicated to upgrading SCADA systems and installing automation in devices throughout the Sawnee distribution network, the spokesperson said.

Bulk power transmission for Sawnee is handled by Georgia Transmission Corp., which received $104.4 million for work on six miles of transmission lines.

Georgia System Operators, which works in partnership with Georgia Transmission on the monitoring of Georgia’s integrated transmission system, received a $1.2 million loan guarantee.

The Horry Electric Cooperative in Conway, S.C., received a $52 million loan to build or improve 624 miles of lines and make other system improvements. About $2 million of the loan is dedicated to smart grid projects.

East River Electric Power Coop in South Carolina received a $131.7 million loan for work on 445 miles of distribution line, and Southwest Rural Electric Association in Oklahoma received a $10.5 million loan for work on 453 miles of distribution.

Two financial organizations dedicated to supporting rural electric power companies also received loans. CoBank and National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. each received $250 million.

Additional loan guarantees made in this rounding of funding for rural power companies ranged from $3 million to $84 million for work plans with line miles ranging from 11 miles to 335 miles. Those recipients are:

·      Coastal Electric Membership Corp. received $23 million for 208 line miles

·      GreyStone Power Corp. received $37 million for 81 line miles, with $4.6 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Habersham Electric Membership Corp. received $15.7 million for 82 line miles, with $616,000 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Harrison County REC received $4 million for eight line miles, with $12,000 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Western Iowa Power Coop received $75 million for 75 line miles, with $274,000 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Southern Illinois Power Coop received $10.3 million for 29 line miles, with $1.2 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Decatur County REMC received $5 million for 49 line miles, with $96,900 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Caney Valley Electric Coop Association received $5.5 million for 83 line miles, with $1.9 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Twin Valley Electric Coop received $4.4 million

·      Inter-County ECC received $20 million for 311 line miles, with $2.5 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Blue Earth Nicollet Faribault Coop Electric Association received $18.8 million for 147 line miles, with $1.3 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Red River Valley Coop Power Association received $8 million for 84 line miles, with $862,000 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Todd-Wadena Electric Coop received $9 million for 169 line miles, with $265,800 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      South Mississippi Electric Power Association received $54.3 million for smart grid projects

·      Mid-Yellowstone Electric Coop received $5.3 million for 69 line miles, with $257,884 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      NorVal Electric Coop received $3.4 million for 110 line miles, with $200,000 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Randolph EMC received $24 million for 335 line miles, with $262,000 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      North Western Electric Coop received $3.7 million for 11 line miles,

·      Caddo Electric Coop received $32.4 million for 330 line miles, with $1.3 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Northeast Oklahoma Electric Coop received $33 million for 100 line miles, with $7.6 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Bon Homme Yankton Electric Association received $6.7 million for 72 line miles, with $317,090 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Cam Wal Electric Coop received $6 million for 124 line miles, with $1.2 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Kingsbury Electric Coop received $3.3 million for 57 line miles, with $63,320 of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Shenandoah Valley Electric Coop received $84.3 million for 244 line miles, with $8.9 million of those funds dedicated to smart grid projects

·      Clark Electric Coop received $4.8 million

·      Garland Light & Power received $4.1 million for 18 line miles

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs