Coast Electric Power Association gets funding

Coast Electric Power Association will receive a portion of $29 million in funding to build and improve distribution line, and make other system improvements for their nearly 10,000 customers. (file photo)

From The Mississippi Link Newswire

Almost $29 million in Smart Grid Projects Included

WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Mississippi is one of 18 states to receive to loan guarantees to make improvements to electric lines, transmission facilities and to reduce peak electric loads by deploying smart grid technologies.

Coast Electric Power Association, headquartered in Kiln, with offices in Gulfport, Biloxi and Poplarville, will receive $51,766. Coast Electric services 9,240 customers and those funds will be used to build and improve 246 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements.

The loan amount includes $128,000 in smart grid projects.

USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein made the announcement on Vilsack’s behalf while visiting the offices of one of the recipients, Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) in Crewe, Virginia.

The cooperative is using the funds for rural electric utilities to build and improve a distribution line, transmission line, and will invest almost $7.4 million for smart grid system enhancements. In all, service will be upgraded for about 1,500 SEC members.

“Maintaining and upgrading rural electric systems improves system reliability, creates jobs and supports economic development,” Vilsack said. “With these loans, we are continuing to help cooperatives provide reliable service to rural residents. A significant portion of this funding will go to smart grid technologies, helping consumers lower their electric bills and reducing peak demand for producers.”

With this funding, USDA Rural Development moves closer to reaching Secretary Vilsack’s goal to fund more than $250 million for smart grid technologies.

That announcement, includes support for nearly $29 million in smart grid projects. In all, USDA is investing more than $420 million in rural electric infrastructure.

Other states that will benefit from the funding are: Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Iowa, Texas, Virginia, Montana and North Dakota.