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USDA Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Service for Customers


Alaska cooperative awarded nearly $3 million dollars

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, February 19, 2013 – USDA-Rural Development (RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced Kotzebue Electric Association, Inc. will receive $2,900,000 from the USDA-RD’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to fund system improvements designed to reduce energy use in homes and businesses. The funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
“President Obama said in his State of the Union Address last week, that in America we have ‘an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair’ and these investments help to address our country’s infrastructure challenges,” Nordlund said. “Developing and expanding outmoded rural infrastructure sets the stage for economic development. In the case of rural Alaska, the access to dependable, reasonably priced electricity is crucial to rural job creation.”

Brad Reeve is the general manager at Kotzebue Electric Association, Inc. and says,” this RUS loan will help us acquire a 1.4 mega watt diesel engine. This will provide a good fit with our increased wind power plant and increase voltage to our wind site and offer more capacity. Our goal is, wherever possible to reduce the cost of energy for our cooperative.”
Since taking office, the Obama Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America’s rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

For program specific questions on this announcement, please contact Candice Celestin (202) 690-2385, or via email at: candice.celestin@wdc.usda.gov.

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