State entrusts Tennessee electric co-ops with $198 million in broadband grants

NASHVILLE – Today the state of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced that electric cooperatives will receive $198 million in grants to expand broadband across rural Tennessee. The grants are part of $446 million awarded through the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund using funds provided by the American Rescue Plan.

“This is a historic day for electric co-ops and the communities we serve,” says Mike Knotts, vice president of government affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We commend our partners at the Department of Economic and Community Development for their focus on broadband expansion, and we are honored by the extraordinary trust they place in electric co-ops.”

The funds will be used to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities across the state. 11 co-ops were awarded grants for 33 individual projects that will soon bring critical broadband service to rural areas across Tennessee.

Electric co-ops were the big winners of today’s announcement. “Electric co-ops received 44 percent of the funds awarded today – more than any other group of providers in the state,” says Knotts. “We have demonstrated our unique ability to construct broadband networks quickly and efficiently. These grant awards are a testament to the incredible efforts of individual electric co-op teams across the state, and this announcement should be celebrated by thousands of Tennessee families and businesses that will soon have fast, reliable and affordable broadband options.”

A list of cooperatives and their affiliated organizations receiving grants is below.

  • $8,631,244, Appalachian Electric Cooperative/Trilight
  • $13,134,933, Chickasaw Electric Cooperative
  • $17,500,000, Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
  • $8,899,590, Fayetteville Public Utilities
  • $2,071,780, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation
  • $53,362,147, Middle Tennessee Electric/United Communications
  • $4,500,000, Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative
  • $13,128,551, Powell Valley Electric Cooperative/Scott County Telephone
  • $19,184,039, Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation/Aeneas
  • $21,847,496, Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative
  • $15,397,511, Volunteer Energy Cooperative
  • $20,168,743, Bolivar Energy Authority/Aeneas


The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides leadership, advocacy and support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and 2.5 million consumers. The association also publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit or to learn more.


Trent Scott | Vice President of Communications | 615.515.5534 | [email protected]



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