USA, Washington: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced nearly $2.3 billion in loans to build and improve rural electric infrastructure in 31 states.
According to USDA news release, loans will be awarded to 77 utilities and cooperatives in 31 states. The funding includes more than $108 million for smart grid technology, $41 million for renewable energy improvements and $9 million for storm damage repairs.
"Improving our rural electric utility systems will help us continue to provide reliable and affordable electricity to rural customers," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Electric Program, which makes loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities, primarily for electric distribution in rural areas.