January 30, 2023

Kilmer Announces New Federal Funding for Jefferson County Public Utility District No. 1

PORT TOWNSEND, WA – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that Jefferson County Public Utility District (PUD) No. 1 received more than $5.4 million in new federal dollars through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program.

This new federal funding will help Jefferson County PUD No. 1 invest in smart grid technologies on the Olympic Peninsula, improving energy availability, efficiency, and reliability for thousands of consumers in the northeastern portion of Jefferson County. The funding will also enable the PUD to purchase a building for administrative and additional office space.

“Investments like these go a long way in helping folks stay connected,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Importantly, this federal funding means Jefferson County PUD No. 1 can provide more reliable and efficient power without all of the costs falling on the backs of local ratepayers and taxpayers. This is a big win for folks on the Olympic Peninsula.”

“These critical investments will benefit rural people and businesses in many ways for decades to come,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “This funding will help rural cooperatives and utilities invest in changes that make our energy more efficient, more reliable, and more affordable. Investing in infrastructure – roads, bridges, broadband, and energy – supports good-paying jobs and keeps the United States poised to lead the global economy.”

The project will enable Jefferson County PUD No. 1 to complete its multipart plan to provide all rural electric customers access to energy, fiber optic internet, and other resources, ensuring access to vital services now and into the future, improving economic opportunity, quality of life, and civic engagement.

In 2010, USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) funding allowed Jefferson County PUD No. 1, then a small water and sewer district, to purchase its electrical grid from the private incumbent. RUS funding for the purchase resulted in improved electrical service for the county and the addition of 50 new union and professional jobs. A new round of funding from RUS for Jefferson County PUD No. 1’s fiber to the home expansion will contribute to additional job creation and provide future internet services in rural areas.

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