States News Service

USDA Announces Funding to Improve Electric Service to Customers in 13 States Funding Includes More Than $6 Million for Smart Grid Projects, Improves Service to Native Americans in the Upper Midwest

WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for projects to improve electric service in rural areas across 13 states. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy. USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Doug O'Brien made today's announcement on Vilsack's behalf.

"The partnership between USDA and rural electric utilities helps to improve service to customers and has made it easier for rural businesses to expand and create jobs," Vilsack said. "As part of President Obama's plan to improve the rural economy, we will continue to fund projects that increase system reliability. We also promote the expansion of 'smart grid' technology which cuts peak demands and improves system reliability."

Today's announcement will provide nearly $280 million for rural electric infrastructure, including more than $6 million in smart grid funding, which increases access to information to better manage electricity use. …

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