USA: Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley last week announced that USDA is providing $64 M to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.
This is a part of a $858 M loan given for the upgrade of rural electric systems in 17 states.
This funding will help build and improve 6,020 km (3,741 miles) of line to improve electric reliability and resilience in rural areas.
Some of the projects receiving the rural upgrade loan include Carroll Electric Cooperative in Berryville, Ark., a company that is receiving a $263 M to improve electric grid reliability and security for 1,606 km (998 miles) of transmission and distribution line. Carroll will use $8.5 M of the loan to invest in smart grid technologies. Also, in Arizona, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is receiving a $94 M loan to provide renewable energy to commercial and residential consumers in the Navajo Nation near Kayenta, Ariz. It will construct a 55.1 MW alternating current solar facility that will provide renewable energy, create jobs and promote economic growth to serve 26,000 Native Americans in Arizona.
Source: T&D World