YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced the USDA will provide $858 million in loans to upgrade rural electric systems in 17 states. USDA Rural Deveolpment provides loans and grants to assist in expanding economic opporuinities and employment in rural areas. The assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities, public safety, health care, and high-speed internet access is rural locations. The funding included $64 million to finance smart grid technologies to improve system operations and monitor grid security.
“Investing in our nation’s electric infrastructure powers our economy, creates jobs, and helps deliver services such as education, training, and health care to build stronger rural communities,” Baxley said. “These loans will help rural electric cooperatives generate and distribute power to keep systems reliable and affordable for those who live and work in rural areas.”
Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC) will receive $38,969,000 to build and improve 277 miles of line, connecting 2,370 customers. BRMEMC serves 52,759 cutomers with over 6.194 miles of line in Towns, Union, Fannin, and Gilmer counties in Georgia, and Clay and Cherokee counties in North Carolina.