USDA announces 3.1 billion investment in rural electric infrastructure

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Thursday announced a $3.1 billion rural electric infrastructure investment in 25 states. The Department of Agriculture is investing in 53 projects through the Electric Loan Program, benefitting 1.4 million rural residents and businesses across the country.

The announcement is part of a record level of USDA electric infrastructure investments in one fiscal year. The department invested $6.3 billion in the Electric Loan Program in fiscal year 2020, up from $5.8 billion in 2019, also a record.

USDA made loans to 119 utilities in 34 states across the country during fiscal year 2020, which ended on September 30. Those figures build upon the $3.7 billion invested in 2018.

USDA’s Electric Program helps finance wind, solar and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce clean energy from coal-fired plants. Local utilities also use the loans to invest in infrastructure to deliver affordable power to thousands of residential, commercial and agricultural consumers.