USDA’s Rural Development division announced that Minnesota rural residents and communities will soon benefit from more than $130 million in loans offered for upgrades in rural electric systems.
Funding includes nearly $22.5 million to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.
The upgrades will impact the lives of more than 100,000 rural Minnesotans.
Loans specific to Minnesota are:
• $52,000,000, Lake Country Power. Will be used to finance 1,400 new consumer connections, build and improve 249 miles of transmission and distribution line, and invest $17 million in smart grid technologies to increase system security and resilience. Lake Country provides service to approximately 49,000 customers across 8,319 miles of line in eight counties in northeastern Minnesota.
• $36,000,000, People’s Energy Cooperative. Will be used to build or improve 306 miles of transmission line in southeast Minnesota. People’s Energy will use $800,000 for smart grid technologies to improve system efficiencies and resilience for their nearly 23,000 residential and commercial consumers across six counties.
• $40,956,000, Stearns Cooperative Electric Association. Will be used to build and improve 280 miles of electric infrastructure. Stearns Cooperative will use $3.3 million for smart grid technologies to improve system efficiencies and improve system communications for more than 26,000 consumers across 4,127 miles of line throughout Morrison, Pope, Kandiyohi, Todd, Stearns and Douglas counties.
• $5,006,000, Traverse Electric Cooperative. Will be used to build and improve electric grid reliability and security for 51 miles of transmission and distribution line. Traverse will use $625,000 of the loan to invest in smart grid technologies, improving system communications for nearly 3,000 customers across South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.