A federal program for upgrading rural electric infrastructure will provide a $263 million loan for Carroll Electric Cooperative Corp. of Berryville to improve power grid reliability in its region of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the loans this week, according to the office of Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican who represents the state’s 3rd District.
The loan, from a USDA program called Rural Development Investment, will be used to improve grid reliability and security on 998 miles of transmission and distribution lines. Carroll Electric, which serves 92,274 meters in 11 counties in Arkansas and Missouri, will use $8.5 million to apply smart grid technologies and improve system communications for 13,260 new customers.
"Our electric infrastructure must be able to meet the energy needs of the future," Womack, a former mayor of Rogers, said in a statement. "This investment will unleash new opportunities, helping enhance grid reliability, create jobs, grow economic opportunity, and support our rural communities. Carroll Electric keeps our homes and businesses powered, and I am pleased that the USDA has recognized their vital importance."