The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on September 5 announced funding for projects in eight states Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia to improve electric service for about 10,000 rural residents. The loan guarantees are provided through USDA's rural utilities program and include more than $11 million in smart grid project funding. For example, the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative will use USDA funding to build 327 miles of line and invest more than $1.1 million in smart grid technologies across 14 counties. And Ohio's South Central Power Company will use the funds to build 558 miles of distribution line, 34 miles of transmission line, and make other system improvements, includiing the investment of nearly $1.2 million in smart grid projects. See the USDA press release.