07.28.05

Burr Announces $55.5 Million Loan for Northwestern North Carolina

Funds to expand rural access to electricity

Senator Richard Burr today announced a $55.5 Million United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Electric Loan for northwestern North Carolina's Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation. The funds will expand rural access to reliable and affordable electricity to 4,299 new consumers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes, Avery and Caldwell counties.

"Reliable and affordable electricity helps maintain a high quality of life in rural North Carolina," said Senator Burr. "These funds will assist northwestern North Carolina in improving delivery of affordable energy."

USDA Rural Development's Electric Loan program provides leadership and capital to upgrade and expand rural electric infrastructure. Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation will use this loan to build 250 miles of new distribution line, one mile of new transmission line and make other improvements to its system.

The loan was approved for 35 years at the U.S. Treasury rate.