The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make $202 million in loans to electric cooperatives in nine states to help bolster and modernize their electric grids.
The loans, which include $14.7 million for Smart Grid technology similar to what already exists in Chattanooga, are expected to help create jobs and support new technology.
Tennessee's Tri-County Electric Cooperative will receive $20 million to build or improve 166 miles of line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $1.3 million for Smart Grid improvements, according to a news release from the USDA.
Chattanooga received a $111.6 million federal grant to build its grid, though the entire project cost about $369 million, according to a Harvard study. After its rollout of the new electric grid, which is undergirded by fiber-optic cable, Chattanooga's city-owned utility, EPB, began offering TV and Internet service, including the Western Hemisphere's first citywide gigabit service.
Other states getting loans include: