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Nov 10, 2017

Federal Funding for New Mexico Electric Projects Comes Through

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Rural counties in northern and eastern New Mexico could soon be seeing a build-out of their local power infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that loans of more than $32 million have been approved to two separate utility companies for that purpose.

The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative, based in Hernandez, New Mexico, will received $18.3 million for the construction of some 58 miles of new power lines.

The company will also improve another 28 miles of existing lines.

In addition, the Department of Agriculture funding will pay for a greater investment in Jemez Mountain’s smart grid projects.

Nearly $14 million has been secured for the Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative, based in Portales, to build roughly 66 miles of new power lines. RCEC will also use the funding to improve an additional 40 miles of existing lines.

The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative supplies the power needs of customers in McKinley, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, Santa Fe, and San Juan counties.

RCEC serves Chaves, Curry, De Baca, and Roosevelt counties.

Altogether the USDA is investing more than $2.5 billion in electricity infrastructure projects in 27 states.

In a statement, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue said the loans will “help develop and maintain modern, reliable electric infrastructure that business and rural communities need in a 21st century economy.”

 

By Garry Boulard

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