The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on December 13 announced $73 million for renewable energy projects and more than $45 million for smart grid technology as part of more than $1.8 billion in loan funding for electric utility infrastructure projects in 25 states and one territory. This funding includes more than $213 million targeted to benefit Native Americans, and will help build or improve more than 6,500 miles of power lines to deliver electricity to rural America. In North Dakota, the Nodak Electric Cooperative will receive a loan of $31 million to serve 920 consumers, build 450 miles of line, and make other system improvements including $2.4 million for smart grid projects and $540,000 for service to Native Americans. And the East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. will use $73 million to finance the construction of the Livingston Hydroelectric Station near Houston, Texas, with a capacity of 24 megawatts and associated transmission facilities. See the USDA press release.