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USDA Grant to Benefit Rural Electric Customers

USDA Grant to Benefit Rural Electric Customers
Vilsack says grant will improve infrastructure and provide jobs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack  says more than 54,000 customers in 20 states will benefit from electric infrastructure improvement projects funded with loan guarantees provided through USDA. USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service is providing the funding that will build 4,342 miles of new distribution lines, improve 2,966 miles of existing distribution lines, build 260 miles of transmission lines, and upgrade 58 miles of exiting transmission lines. Altogether, the investments total $1.55 billion.

In making the announcement, Secretary Vilsack said the Obama Administration believes that modernized infrastructure is a necessary part of the foundation for long term economic stability and prosperity and that includes a modernized electrical grid.  The Secretary pointed out that these loans will improve electric service for thousands of Americans, creating jobs, and expanding business and economic opportunity in America's small towns and communities.

Locations such as Waco, Texas, Springfield, Mo., and Mankato, Kan. are among the benefactors. The funding may be used to expand or improve electric service, support renewable energy efforts and establish energy conservation programs.

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