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Agricultural News


USDA Invests $21.8 Million in Oklahoma to Improve and Modernize Rural Electric Infrastructure After Severe Weather and Age Test the Grid

Tue, 16 Mar 2021 10:51:21 CDT

USDA Invests $21.8 Million in Oklahoma to Improve and Modernize Rural Electric Infrastructure After Severe Weather and Age Test the Grid The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today a $598 million rural electric loan package to build or improve electric infrastructure in 11 states.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to bringing critical financial assistance to rural families and making significant investments in community infrastructure across rural America,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These USDA investments will bring affordable electric power to rural residents, Tribal communities, community facilities, schools and medical institutions that perform critical services each day. Now is the time for our nation to make significant investments in infrastructure — roads, bridges, broadband and energy — to improve quality of life and support good-paying jobs, transition to a clean energy economy, and keep the United States poised to lead the global economy.”

Background:

USDA is investing in 11 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit 460,000 rural residents and businesses in Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Several of the loans will help expand smart grid technologies, which can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services in unserved and underserved rural areas.

· In Oklahoma, Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative will use a $21.8 million loan to connect 1,144 consumers and build or improve 39 miles of line. Verdigris Valley serves 37,231 customers through 4,838 miles of line. Headquartered in Collinsville, Verdigris Valley serves customers in Nowata, Osage, Rogers, Tulsa, and Washington counties.
USDA’s Electric Loan Program helps finance wind, solar and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce clean 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.

To learn more about electric infrastructure and other investment resources for rural areas, contact the USDA Rural Development state office.

Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.


   

 

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