BISMARCK, N.D. – The United States Department of Agriculture is investing nearly $13 million to build rural electric infrastructure in five counties in North Dakota.

USDA Rural Development State Director for North Dakota Clare Carlson made the announcement on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

“Modern infrastructure and facilities are important because they provide reliable services for rural communities,” Carlson said in a news release. “This investment is just one of the many projects we have to help improve the quality of life for North Dakota residents.”

Capital Electric Cooperative is receiving a nearly $13 million loan to develop its headquarters facility. Capital Electric serves about 21,000 consumers with more than 2,700 miles of line in five counties across south-central North Dakota, according to the news release, including Burleigh, Kidder, McLean, Emmons and Sheridan. The new facility will accommodate the continued customer growth and provide a more favorable location with improved access to roads, systems and services for members.

The investment is in coordination with the recent announcement made by the Trump Administration that the USDA is investing $1.6 billion for rural electric infrastructure in 21 states, North Dakota among them.

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The other states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

USDA is providing loans and loan guarantees to rural electric cooperatives and utilities through the Electric Loan Program. The recipients will use the funds to build and improve 9,138 miles of electric transmission and distribution line, benefiting 1 million rural residents and businesses.

The loans include nearly $386 million for investments in smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.