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Rural Development Office : (October 3, 2012) USDA Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Services in Four Midwestern States

10/03/2012 | 01:17pm EST

Washington, DC, Oct 03, 2012 --  USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Doug O'Brien announced today that Dairyland Power Cooperative of La Crosse, Wis., will receive a USDA loan guarantee to build and improve transmission line, make system improvements and launch smart grid projects in four Midwestern states.

"This loan guarantee will bring improved service to rural businesses and residential customers," O'Brien said. "Reliable electric services play a vital role in improving economic opportunities and the quality of life in rural America."

Dairyland Power Cooperative will receive a $261.9 million loan guarantee to build and improve 81 miles of transmission line to add system capacity, increase reliability and improve communications and control equipment. The project will benefit customers in communities in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. Included in the loan are $3.5 million for smart grid projects and $149.5 million for environmental improvements. Secretary Vilsack announced last month that USDA has met its goal to finance $250 million in smart grid technologies in fiscal year 2012.

The funding is provided by USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service, which works to improve rural infrastructure by helping to fund rural electric power, telecommunications, and water and wastewater treatment systems. These investments support the country's long-term national prosperity by ensuring that rural communities have the necessary infrastructure to be self-sustaining and competitive in the global economy.

For information on other RD projects, please visit Rural Development's new interactive web map at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. 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.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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