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Oregon utility secures $43M federal loan


 USA, Oregon: The Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) received a $43 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for system upgrades, as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Electric Program announced and reported by Transformers Magazine a few days ago.

The Umatilla Electric Cooperative plans to use the loan to rebuild aging power lines and substations, some of which are now more than 40 years old, reports East Oregonian.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement last Thursday, saying the program will help provide reliable and affordable electricity to rural customers.

Much of UEC’s existing infrastructure was built in the mid-1970s with the rapid expansion of irrigated agriculture in northeast Oregon. The co-op built eight substations just in 1974.

The UEC manager Steve Eldrige said upgrading equipment now will leave customers better off than dealing with the consequences of an outdated system.

Source: East Oregonian