Barry Electric Coop gets USDA loan to upgrade power lines

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CASSVILLE, Mo.- Barry Electric Cooperative will receive a $56 million federal loan to expand and modernize its infrastructure. It’s one of three electric coops in the state that just learned it will get a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the investments on Wednesday during a news conference in Savannah in northwest Missouri.

United Electric Cooperative, based in Savannah, will get a $28 million loan to build or enhance 164 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $3.5 million for next-generation power transmission efforts known as smart grid. Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, based in Palmyra, will receive a $24 million loan.

Vilsack says the Missouri projects will build or improve more than 300 miles of power lines. He said about $42 million of the $108 million total goes to smart grid technologies.

Barry Electric has about 9,700 customers in southern Barry and McDonald counties, including Cassville, Exeter, Jenkins, Seligman, Washburn, and Wheaton. It has 30 employees and about 1,050 miles of power lines.

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