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USDA Gives $108M in Loans to 3 Rural Electric Projects

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  Three Missouri rural electric projects are getting $108 million in federal loans to expand and modernize their infrastructure.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the investment Wednesday during a news conference in Savannah in northwest Missouri's Andrew County.

That's where Vilsack says United Electric Cooperative will get a $28 million loan to build or enhance 164 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $3.5 million for next-generation power transmission efforts known as smart grid.

The Barry Electric Cooperative based in southwest Missouri's Cassville is getting roughly $56 million in loans. The Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative in Palmyra receives $24 million.

Vilsack says the Missouri projects will build or improve more than 300 miles of power lines. Some $42 million goes to smart grid technologies.

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