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News Release

Release No. 0092.10
Contact:
Jay Fletcher (202) 690-0498

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AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCES SUPPORT TO BOLSTER RURAL ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE

Investments Will Benefit More Than 55,000 Rural Customers in 16 States

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 29 rural utilities and cooperatives in 16 states have been selected to receive loans and loan guarantees to build and repair more than 5,600 miles of distribution and transmission lines and make system improvements that will benefit more than 55,000 rural customers.

"Reliable electric service is a key to economic growth and development and the funding that I am announcing today will help many rural utilities improve service to their customers and owner-members," Vilsack said. "These investments are a critical part of the Obama Administration's actions to develop the infrastructure and build the economy of rural communities."

The funding is being provided under USDA Rural Development's Electric Loan Program. It may be used to expand or improve electric service, support renewable energy efforts and establish energy conservation programs. The loans and loan guarantees are part of USDA Rural Development's annual budget and are not funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

For example, the Halifax Electric Membership Corporation in Enfield, N.C., has been selected to receive a $6.5 million loan to provide automated meter reading and repair nearly 70 miles of distribution lines. The improvements will help businesses attract and retain jobs in the region, which has lower household incomes than the state average and has high levels of outmigration. These improvements are expected to serve 1,292 new and existing customers.

In Allison, Iowa, the Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative has been selected for a $12.7 million loan to upgrade and maintain facilities and repair damage caused by a 2007 ice storm. The co-op plays an essential role in the regional economy because its commercial load is predominately related to farm output.

The Kodiak Electric Association, Inc., in Kodiak, Alaska, has been selected to receive a $10.6 million loan to make system improvements. KEA serves a large Alaska Native population.

Below is a complete list of the borrowers. Funding of each loan recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the loan agreement.

Alabama:

  • Baldwin County Electric Membership Corporation - $42,950,000

Alaska:

  • Kodiak Electric Association, Inc. - $10,600,000

Arizona:

  • Mohave Electric Cooperative Inc. - $28,075,000

Arkansas:

  • Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Corporation - $10,589,000
  • Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation - $43,413,000

Colorado:

  • Morgan County Rural Electric Association - $6,823,000

Georgia:

  • Coastal Electric Membership Corporation - $18,000,000
  • Washington Electric Membership Corporation - $13,346,000
  • Sumter Electric Membership Corporation - $10,000,000

Iowa:

  • Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative - $12,700,000
  • Grundy County Rural Electric Cooperative - $732,000

Minnesota:

  • Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative - $4,483,000

Missouri:

  • White River Valley Electric Cooperative - $51,427,000
  • Farmers Electric Cooperative - $9,500,000
  • Howard Electric Cooperative - $5,249,000

Montana:

  • Ravalli County Electric Cooperative, Inc. - $6,100,000

New Mexico:

  • Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, Inc. - $28,983,000
  • Farmers' Electric Cooperative, Inc. - $28,101,000

North Carolina:

  • Energy United Electric Membership Corporation - $69,000,000
  • Halifax Electric Membership Corporation - $6,500,000

North Dakota:

  • Capital Electric Cooperative, Inc. - $15,000,000
  • Northern Plains Electric Cooperative - $17,000,000
  • Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative - $30,000,000

Ohio:

  • North Western Electric Cooperative - $4,750,000

Texas:

  • Karnes Electric Cooperative, Inc. - $6,718,000
  • Houston County Electric Cooperative - $11,940,000
  • Greenbelt Electric Cooperative, Inc. - $2,990,000
  • Central Texas Electric Cooperative - $34,000,000

Wyoming:

  • Wheatland Rural Electric Association - $4,255,000

USDA Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in the nation's capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $125 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

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