Carroll Electric Cooperative Corp., based in Berryville, will receive $263 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade power and communication lines.
Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced Thursday (May 30) that $858 million worth of loans will be distributed in 17 states, including the CECC project. The funding includes $64 million to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.
“Investing in our nation’s electric infrastructure powers our economy, creates jobs and helps deliver services such as education, training and health care to build stronger rural communities,” Baxley said. “These loans will help rural electric cooperatives generate and distribute power to keep systems reliable and affordable for those who live and work in rural areas.”
USDA is investing in 17 projects through the Electric Loan Program in Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. This funding will help build and improve 3,741 miles of line to improve electric reliability and resilience in rural areas.
CECC will use its loan to improve electric grid reliability and security for 998 miles of transmission and distribution line. Approximately $8.5 million of the loan will be used to invest in smart grid technologies to improve system communications for 13,260 new customers.
CECC covers portions of Benton, Carroll, Madison and Newton counties in Arkansas.