Power companies in Triad to improve electrical networks in rural areas thanks to federal funds

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Numerous communities across the Piedmont Triad are about to receive infusions of cash that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is loaning from the infrastructure bill recently signed into law.

The USDA announced the distribution of $401 million in North Carolina focused on clean water and improved electrical networks in rural areas, a release said.

“These investments will provide our rural population safe, reliable and affordable services that are essential for modern life,” Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight said in the release.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the dollars will “grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come.”

These funds largely are loans under the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. There is $174 million tagged for two electrical projects that serve all counties in the Triad.

Blue Ridge EMC in Lenoir will receive a $94 million loan to build and improve 456 miles of line to connect electrical customers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes counties. This loan includes $18 million in smart grid technologies.

Energyunited EMC in Statesville will use a $80 million loan to build and improve 844 miles of line that serve 10,900 people in Alexander, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stokes, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. This loan includes $1.6 million in smart grid technologies.

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