An Oklahoma rural electric cooperative, CKenergy Electric Inc. of Mustang has received $69 million in USDA investments to improve rural electric programs.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue made the announcement, explaining that CKenergy Electric received an investment of $5,735,046 to be in smart grid technologies. But the rest of the $69 million will be used to connect 1,480 consumers and build and improve 1,276 miles of line.
“I’m happy to see CKenergy Electric Cooperative receive this $69 million investment to build and improve essential electric infrastructure across western Oklahoma,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03). “Safe and reliable electricity are critically important to the livelihoods of my neighbors across the District.”
CKenergy serves more than 26,000 members through 7,799 miles of line in 10 counties of western Oklahoma.
Last week’s announcement is part of a record level of USDA electric infrastructure investments in one fiscal year. The department invested $6.3 billion in the Electric Loan Program in FY 2020, up from $5.8 billion in 2019 – also a record. USDA made loans to 119 utilities in 34 states across the country during FY 2020, which ended on September 30. Those figures build upon the $3.7 billion invested in 2018.
Twenty-one of the loans that USDA awarded in FY 2020, representing almost 10 percent of total loan volume by dollar, will help expand smart grid technologies. Smart grid can be a catalyst for broadband and other telecommunications services in unserved and underserved rural areas. These loans will finance nearly 23,000 new line-miles of smart grid fiber when buildout is complete.
Source: Rep. Frank Lucas