Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023–10:27 a.m.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced electric infrastructure investments in Georgia totaling $313 million to help four Georgia electric cooperatives and utilities expand and modernize the rural electric grid and increase grid security. The announcement was made by GreyStone Power Corporation in Hiram, Georgia where USDA is investing $141,938,000.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are partnering with communities to make critical investments in infrastructure that will create opportunities for rural people and businesses for decades to come,” Torres Small said. “USDA is proud to support rural cooperatives and utilities to make our energy more efficient, reliable, and affordable and bring good-paying jobs to people in rural Georgia and across the nation.”
Greystone is receiving $141,938,000 to connect 10,948 consumers and build and improve 502 miles of line. This loan includes various smart grid projects in the amount of $32,330,400 including the installation of 96.10 miles of fiber backbone specifically to provide the backhaul of data from remote substations and offices back to the corporate headquarters. Greystone Power is headquartered in Hiram, Georgia, and provides service to 141,146 customers over approximately 7,355 miles of line in eight counties in Georgia.
Located on the west side of Atlanta, GreyStone Power Corporation serves portions of eight metropolitan Atlanta counties including Douglas, Paulding, Cobb, Fulton, Coweta, Fayette, Carroll, and Bartow, some of the fastest-growing areas not only in the state but in the nation.
USDA is investing in 64 projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit nearly 2 million rural people and businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The loans include $613 million to help rural utilities and cooperatives install and upgrade smart grid technologies. Smart grid can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services in unserved and underserved rural areas in addition to improving grid security and reliability.
Nearly half of the awards will help finance infrastructure improvements in underserved communities.
The total investment in Georgia is $313 million, other electric infrastructure investments in Georgia announced today include:
- Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative will receive $39,089,000 to connect 3,250 consumers and build and improve 338 miles of line. This loan includes $4,406,000 in smart grid technologies. Carroll EMC is headquartered in Carrollton, Georgia, and serves 53,439 consumers over 5,548 miles of line in seven counties in Georgia.
- Excelsior Electric Membership Corporation will receive $27,850,000 to connect 2,847 consumers and build and improve 317 miles of line. This loan includes $6,590,000 in smart grid technologies. Excelsior EMC is headquartered in Metter, Georgia, and serves 24,120 members over 3,435 miles of line in eight counties in Georgia.
- Flint Electric Membership Corporation will receive $104,368,000 to connect 641 consumers and build and improve 115 miles of line. This loan includes various smart grid projects in the amount of $21,904,000 including the installation of 404 miles of backbone fiber to provide connectivity among the substations, automation devices and capacitor banks in the rural area. Flint Electric is headquartered in Reynolds, Georgia, and serves 90,302 consumers over 89,509 of energized line through 17 counties in central Georgia.
In the coming months, USDA will announce additional energy infrastructure financing. The Biden-Harris Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act provided more than $12 billion to USDA for loans and grants to expand clean energy, transform rural power production, create jobs, and spur economic growth. This funding will help make energy cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable.
USDA’s Electric Loan Program can help finance wind, solar and natural gas plants, as well as improvements to produce cleaner energy from coal-fired plants. Local utilities also use the loans to invest in infrastructure to deliver affordable power to millions of residential, commercial, and agricultural consumers.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.