Udall, Bennet Announce Over $5 Million from Recovery Act to Improve Energy Affordability, Reliability for Southwest Colorado Rural Communities

San Miguel Power Association to Receive $5.1 Million in USDA Loans to Upgrade, Strengthen Energy Infrastructure

Washington, DC - Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, U.S. Senators for Colorado, announced today that the San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) will receive over $5 million in loans under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to upgrade and improve service quality and affordability for people in rural western and southwestern Colorado.

The Recovery Act funding is part a national effort to help rural electric cooperative utilities continue to provide reliable and affordable electric power to homes and small businesses in their communities.

"This loan will enable the San Miguel Power Association to make important upgrades to its infrastructure and equipment, and help it provide reliable and affordable service," Senator Udall said. "At a time when businesses and families alike are struggling to afford to keep the lights on, this loan will pay off for SMPA's customers across western and southwestern Colorado, and it's one of the reasons I was proud to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

"Rural communities need to be part our economic recovery, and these funds will help make sure they're not left out of the mix," said Bennet. "Folks in rural Colorado depend on their local energy cooperatives for reliable and affordable energy to power their homes and businesses. With these funds, SMPA will be able to continue to deliver safe and reliable electric power to more people in western and southwestern Colorado communities that need it most."

The funding will be administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development's Electric Programs, which provides loans and loan guarantees to help utilities, cooperatives, states and local governments provide electric service in rural areas. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the loan agreement.

For more information on the San Miguel Power Association, please click here.