Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for rural electric utility system improvements that will benefit residential and business customers in 23 states, including Missouri.
The projects include more than $14.3 million to implement smart grid technology and nearly $11 million to improve electric service for Native Americans. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service Administrator John Padalino made the announcement on the Secretary's behalf while addressing a regional meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in San Antonio, Texas.
In Missouri, Callaway Electric Cooperative, which serves 362 customers, received a $9.3 million loan guarantee. The funds will be used to build 40 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $1.9 million for smart grid projects.
"Electricity is essential for quality of life in rural communities. Access to adequate electrical services is critical for community and economic development," Missouri State Director Janie Dunning said. "With these funds, Callaway Electric Cooperative can undertake necessary enhancements to facilities allowing the cooperative to continue to provide excellent service to customers and the region. I applaud Callaway Electric Cooperative for being proactive and congratulate the cooperative for receipt of the guarantee."