WASHINGTON DC – Minnesota is getting over $26 million in federal funding for rural electric infrastructure improvements.
The money is part of $1.4 billion going to 21 states from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Modern and reliable electric infrastructure has been a cornerstone to rural prosperity since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936,” says U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. “This funding we are providing is critical to rural communities and reflects President Trump’s commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program. Secretary Purdue says it will help build and improve 6,886 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $255.8 million for investments in smart grid infrastructure that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage
North Star Electric Cooperative will receive $11,057,000 to build and improve 95 miles of line and add 357 customers. The loan includes more than $2 million for smart grid technologies. North Star serves an average of 6,500 customers through 1,444 miles of energized line in Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Roseau and St. Louis counties.
H-D Electric Cooperative will get $8,072,000 to connect 146 customers and consumers and build and improve 140 miles of distribution line. The loan includes more than $474,000 in smart grid applications to enhance system resilience and reliability. H-D Electric, headquartered in Clear Lake, S.D., provides electric service to approximately 3,600 consumers over 1,572 miles of line in South Dakota and Minnesota.
Redwood Electric Cooperative will receive $7,000,000 to build and improve 57 miles of distribution line and add 72 customers. The loan includes $1,831,000 for smart grid technologies. Redwood Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Clements, Minn., serves more than 4,400 residential and commercial consumers in three counties in Minnesota.