Blue Ridge Energy Secures More Than $1.5 Million in USDA Funding for Community Projects

Lenoir-based Blue Ridge Energy was recently awarded over $1.5 million for zero-interest loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program to help support two community projects.

Wilbar VFD will use REDLG funds provide additional room for fire and rescue vehicles. Source: (photo taken before the COVID-19 pandemic made social distancing necessary)

Blue Ridge Energy received a REDLG loan and grant in the amount of $1,000,000 and $300,000, respectively, to assist in the site development of land on Ray Taylor Road in West Jefferson for the purposes of developing a new Industrial Park for Ashe County. A developed site will attract new industry that would create jobs or allow a current industry to expand – Ashe County has identified a 41.8 acre parcel of land across from the existing Industrial Park that is suitable for development.

The co-op also received a REDLG loan in the amount of $240,000 to assist Wilbar Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. in the construction of an addition to its existing fire station in Wilkes County.

“Supporting quality of life in the communities we serve is critical to our purpose as a local electric cooperative,” said Blue Ridge Energy CEO Doug Johnson. “The REDLG program is an important tool for helping rural communities across the nation compete for critical services such as safety, health care, education and job development. We’re pleased to be able to secure the latest funds for these critical projects.”