USDA to invest $273M in rural Michigan electric infrastructure

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 2:03 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Millions of dollars of investments are planned to help rural infrastructure in Michigan.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday that the Department is investing $2.7 billion to help electric utilities expand the rural electric grid and increase security across the US. A total of $273,696,000 in loans will go to Michigan to connect 5,765 rural customers.

USDA Rural Development State Director Brandon Fewins spoke on the investment.

“This represents a significant investment in Michigan’s rural energy infrastructure,” said Fewins. “We are fundamentally transforming access to electricity in a large stretch of our state.”

The Alger-Delta Cooperative Electric Association located in Gladstone has 10,289 consumers and over 1,300 miles of line in six counties in Michigan’s central Upper Peninsula. The association is expected to use a $10,900,000 loan to connect 735 customers and build and improve 84.13 miles of line.

Meanwhile, The Great Lakes Energy Cooperative will use a $262,796,000 loan to connect 5,030 customers and improve 438 miles of line. Smart gris projects that will amount to $182,833,317 will include installing 2,420 miles of fiber backbone communication network. The cooperative is located in Boyne and serves around 128,232 customers over 4,649 miles of line in western and northern Michigan.

The USDA said this funding will help make energy cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable.

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