Alaskan company receives $3.4 million USDA rural development loan

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Naknek Electric Association will be receiving a loan of $3.4 million through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Electric Loan Program, the department announced Monday. The loan will be used to finance generation facilities, the USDA said in the loan project description.

The NEA was incorporated while Alaska was still a U.S. territory in 1949 and provides electrical service to communities in Bristol Bay including King Salmon and Naknek, according to their website.

The loan is part of a $1.6 billion investment plan from the USDA that seeks to improve rural electric infrastructure. Alaska was one of 21 states that will be receiving loans from the program. In the project description, USDA said NEA currently distributes electricity to over 1,000 people.

“Reliable and modern 21st century infrastructure, including electric infrastructure and smart grid technologies, is a cornerstone for prosperity in rural America,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a prepared statement. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures.”

The Electric Loan Program is part of a USDA effort to enable rural electric cooperatives and utilities to bolster the electric distribution in the U.S. Some of the loans given to states include money for smart grid technology that is intended to monitor changes in electricity usage at a local level.

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