Federal Program Awards UEC $89 Million Loan For Infrastructure Upgrades

USDA’s Rural Development program for electric cooperatives is an integral part of UEC’s continued success in growth and service to our member communities.

The $89 million loan to UEC for power grid improvements, announced Jan. 30 by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, will go towards a three-year plan to ensure UEC is there for our members with an estimated cost in excess of $121 million.

“Oregon’s severe weather events – from windstorms that down power lines and spark catastrophic infernos to ice and hail storms that cause losses in power as well as property damage – prove that we must fortify our aging grid infrastructure,” Wyden said. “This federal investment to make the power grid more resilient in Northeastern Oregon will go a long way in keeping rural Oregonians in Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties safer and with power through weather events to come.”

Merkley called the funding a “smart investment” in rural Oregon’s infrastructure.

“Ensuring rural cooperatives have the resources necessary to maintain modern and reliable electric infrastructure provides economic opportunity that rural communities across Oregon need to thrive,” Merkley said. “I’m pleased this funding supporting smart grid technologies is headed to Eastern Oregon.”

The loan program ensures we can continue to invest and serve our members and offers us an affordable mechanism to finance capital intensive projects, especially in times of rising costs of labor and materials.