USDA Secretary Mike Johanns announced Monday a USDA loan of over $776 million to electric utilities to help improve electric access and infrastructure in rural America.
The loan will go to utilities in 16 states, providing service to 10,000 new customers and building improvements such as news facilities and lines.
"Our rural communities need reliable electric service in order to support business expansion and broaden economic opportunities," says Johanns. "These loans will open the door to growth in rural America by enabling cooperatives to improve distribution systems and serve additional customers."
Some of the projects the loans will fund include $38 million for restoring distribution systems damaged by Katrina, $9 million to help build more line and add almost 2,500 new customers in Missouri, and $11 million to build a new generation facility for residents in California and Nevada.
The following states will receive funding: Calif., Colo., Fla., Ga., Iowa, Ky., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., N.D., Neb., Nev., S.D., Wis., and Wyo. A complete list of recipients can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov.