Howell-Oregon Electric Co-op awarded $27 million loan for infrastructure improvements
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $2.5 billion in loans for rural electric infrastructure improvements including $27 million awarded to Howell-Oregon Electric Co-op, which serves some residents in eastern Ozark County. The loan will allow Howell-Oregon to build 94 miles of line, improve 29 miles of line and make other system improvements, according to a USDA news release.
The funds are intended to help create jobs and support economic development in 27 states, according the statement. A total of nearly $119 million is to be invested in Missouri, with funding also supporting infrastructure improvements for five other electric cooperatives: Southwest Electric Co-op, Associated Electric Co-op, Central Electric Power Co-op, New-Mac Electric Co-op and Barry Electric Co-op. The loans are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program, the successor to the Rural Electrification Administration.
“These significant investments will help develop and maintain modern, reliable electric infrastructure that businesses and rural communities need in a 21st century economy,” Perdue said. “The loans ... will help utilities and cooperatives build new transmission and distribution lines, upgrade networks and facilities, and better manage the power grid.”