Fox Islands Electric Co-op to receive funds for Smart Grid technology

May 06, 2014

Washington, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding May 6 for projects in 18 states to improve electric service to business and residential consumers in rural areas.

The $540 million in loan guarantees to fund these projects are made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural utilities program. They include more than $35 million for smart grid projects to improve rural electric system communications technology.

“Electric reliability is a critical component of the success of our rural economy. Today’s loans will help continue to ensure the safety, reliability and affordability of electric service in rural areas,” Vilsack said in a news release. “This funding is part of the Obama Administration’s vision for a new rural energy economy. Investments in smart grid technologies help rural electric cooperatives improve system operations to meet the needs of rural customers.”

USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “These essential USDA Rural Development funds will assist Fox Islands Electric Cooperative with valuable Smart Grid improvements and will improve 9 miles of distribution line for these rural Maine island communities, helping their sustainability in the long run.”

The Obama Administration has invested more than $28 billion in rural electric infrastructure nationwide since 2009.








Comments (1)
Posted by: Sonja Sleeper | May 06, 2014 19:14

I have a lot of questions on this article.   What I read is that it isn't a grant but loan guarantees so how does that help?  It just sounds like it is easier for the cooperative  to borrow the money, and what is the infrastructure? With it not being a grant community has to pay the rates to repay the loan(s).  It doesn't sound like cheaper rates.



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