WASHINGTON — Funding for rural electric utility system improvements that will benefit residential and business customers in 23 states, including Indiana, was announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The projects include more than $14.3 million to implement smart grid technology and nearly $11 million to improve electric service for Native Americans.

USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator John Padalino made the announcement on behalf of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack while addressing a regional meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in San Antonio, Texas.

In Indiana, Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. received $118.3 million to build two headquarters projects and for system improvements.

“These investments will ensure that rural electric infrastructure will continue to meet the electricity needs of rural residents, farmers and commercial and industrial customers,” Padalino said. “This funding is part of the Obama administration’s vision for a new rural energy economy. It includes investments in smart grid technologies that modernize our nation’s electric system and improve its operation.”

The $960 million in USDA loan guarantees will help build 3,587 miles of line, benefit about 17,000 rural residential and business customers and make other system improvements. Including this latest announcement, the Obama administration has invested $152 million in smart grid technologies nationwide during 2013.

USDA funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the loan agreement.