The USDA announced $1.4 billion in USDA loan guarantees to improve the delivery of electric power to rural communities in 21 states. The announcement includes $106 million for smart grid technologies and $3 million for renewable energy programs and systems.
The funding will help diversify energy portfolios and decrease the nation's reliance on carbon-based fuel sources. For fiscal year (FY) 2014, USDA's Rural Utilities Service provided more than $186 million for smart grid technologies. Western Iowa Power Co-op and Western Iowa REC are among the rural utilities receiving loans.