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Funding to benefit electric systems in rural NM, Ariz.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico, Arizona and Utah are among the 25 states that will benefit from federal funding being doled out to improve electricity infrastructure in rural areas.

The funding is being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service Program. In all, the department said more than 6,500 miles of transmission line will be built or improved.

Among the projects being funded are those planned by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which serves rural electric consumers in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

The utility will receive nearly $168 million to build about 1,215 miles of line, invest in smart grid technologies and make other system improvements.

Federal officials said nearly 3,800 rural electric consumers in the three states will see direct benefits from the investment.

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