February 28, 2017
Contact: Samantha Evenson (701) 893-2220

USDA Announces Loans to Improve Electric Infrastructure

BISMARCK, N.D. – Bill Davis, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director, today announced that two North Dakota electric cooperatives will receive loans to help continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to rural residents and businesses.

“Electric cooperatives power our communities and promote economic development,” said Davis. “This investment will help the co-ops increase capacity to meet the demand for services and support new technology to modernize their operations.”

A portion of the loans, which total $80 million, will help implement Smart Grid technology to help the utilities better manage their power needs and supply. It includes metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications, geospatial information systems and other improvements.

Here is a summary of the loans.

KEM Electric Cooperative (Linton, ND) – $12 million to build or improve 130 miles of line and make system upgrades. The loan includes $288,000 for Smart Grid projects.

Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Hazen, ND) – $68 million to build or improve 453 miles of line and make system upgrades. About $1.2 million will support Smart Grid projects.

The financing is being provided through the Electric Program of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service, the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration. The Electric Program makes loans and loan guarantees to non-profit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities. The loans finance the construction of electric distribution and generation facilities in rural areas. For more information, visit