BROWNSTOWN, Ind.–Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $276 million investment in rural electric infrastructure to improve system efficiency and reliability across the country.
USDA’s investment will build nearly 1,000 miles of line, plus improve 733 miles of line to meet current and future needs of rural businesses and residents. It will also support $65 million in smart grid technologies to help rural electric utilities reduce outages and integrate new systems.
Smart grid includes technological enhancements such as metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications and geospatial information systems.
Locally, a $74 million loan was awarded to Jackson County REMC to build 84 miles of line and improve an additional 32 miles to provide reliable power to 20,000 customers. The loan includes $59.3 million for smart grid technologies.