US invests $371m to improve rural power infrastructure

The projects are expected to benefit more than 222,000 households and commercial customers across 11 states

The Big Zero report

The US Government has announced an investment totalling $371 million (£283m) to build and improve critical rural electricity infrastructure.

The funding from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will support 10 projects that are expected to benefit more than 222,000 households and commercial customers across 11 states.

It will help build and improve 3,741 miles of power lines to improve electricity reliability and resilience in rural areas in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The funding includes $80 million (£61m) for smart grid technologies to improve system communications for more than 60,000 customers in 11 counties in east-central Minnesota and three counties in northwest Wisconsin.

Bette Brand, USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary said: “These investments will improve electric service by connecting more consumers, building and improving lines and modernising power grids in rural communities.

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner to rural communities because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

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