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Maura Bennett Smart Grid on the way to rural Colorado
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: August 16, 2018

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Parts of rural Colorado are on the list for improved electrical service as part of a USDA loan program.

Colorado is one of a handful of states sharing in a US Department of Agriculture investment of more than 345 million dollars.

This is the latest round of rural electric loans announced recently by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue .

In Colorado, the San Isabel Electric Association is receiving a $15.8 million loan to build 63 miles of line and improve 143 miles to serve farmers families and ranchers in Huerfano, Las Animas, Pueblo, Custer, Otero and Costilla counties.

The loan includes $752,021 for smart grid projects.

Rural Utilities Service Administrator Ken Johnson says there are a total of 20 projects in this round of USDA loans. And among those projects are loans for so call smart grid technology.

“There are projects in 14 different states and those loans are for infrastructure. Smart Grid is a way to bring better efficiencies to the electric system so that we have a much better idea of how the electricity grid is performing during high energy use periods. Or during storms we can more readily dispatch people.”

Johnson says the smart grid technology can modernize meter reading capability and improve data collection to help operate the entire electrical system.

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