NAEC sharing in $3.1 billion USDA program for system upgrades


North Arkansas Electric Cooperative (NAEC) is among recipients in 25 states sharing $3.1 billion in loans from USDA to build or improve its infrastructure.A release from USDA says its rural development investment of $87,487,000 to NAEC will be used to finance the installation of 3,802 miles of main line fiber for communication and monitoring purposes between all substations. The loan includes funding in smart grid technologies.NAEC, headquartered in Salem, serves an average of 37,022 members over 5,000 miles of line in parts of six counties in North Central Arkansas.

UADA is also reporting a loan of $129,089,000 to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. This rural development investment will be used to finance generation system improvements.

Arkansas Electric is a generation and transmission cooperative based in Little Rock. It provides wholesale electric service to 17 electric distribution cooperative members serving 74 Arkansas counties.

The announcement of the loans by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue highlights a record level of funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020 to upgrade infrastructure.

Background

USDA is investing in 53 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit 1.4 million rural residents and businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

A complete listing of the loans is available here.

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