Dixie Electric is getting more than $44 million as part of a $1.6 billion investment by the United States Department of Agriculture to build or improve rural electric infrastructure in 21 states, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced.
“Reliable and modern 21st century infrastructure, including electric infrastructure and smart grid technologies, is a cornerstone for prosperity in rural America,” Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures.”
Dixie Electric Power Association will receive an award of $44.2 million. This Rural Development investment will be used to connect 4,544 consumers and to build and improve 155 miles of line. This loan includes $6.1 million in smart grid technologies. Dixie Electric is headquartered in Laurel and serves, on average, 39,088 connected consumers over 4,989 of energized line throughout seven counties in southeastern Mississippi.
USDA is providing loans and loan guarantees to rural electric cooperatives and utilities through the Electric Loan Program. The recipients will use the funds to build and improve 9,138 miles of electric transmission and distribution line, benefiting 1 million rural residents and businesses. The loans include nearly $386 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.