WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced
that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $263.3 million to help
modernize and improve the reliability of rural electric systems in eight states,
In Indiana and Kentucky, the Owen Electric Cooperative will
receive $30 million to build or improve 228 miles of line and make other system
improvements. The loan includes $3,431,205 for smart grid projects.
“America’s infrastructure must be modernized if we are to
continue to create jobs, expand opportunity and be competitive in the global
economy,” Vilsack said.
“Modernizing our nation’s rural electric infrastructure will
help better support economic development in rural areas while helping to ensure
reliable and affordable electric service for people who live and work in small
communities across the country.”
The announcement includes nearly $20 million for smart grid
improvements. Smart grid refers to the application of technologies designed to
modernize our nation’s electric system.
These technologies increase the reliability of electric
power by helping utilities better manage the electric grid, such as during peak
demand, to improve operational efficiencies.
The loans will build or improve more than 3,700 miles
of line in