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Trump Administration Invests $40 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in Rural Minnesota & Wisconsin


Investments to benefit nearly 1,000 Residents and Commercial Customers

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Aug. 17, 2020 – Minnesota State Director Brad Finstad and Wisconsin State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $371 million to build and improve critical electric infrastructure that will benefit more than 222,000 rural residents and commercial customers in 11 states.

“Electricity has long been a staple in our communities,” Finstad said. “So much so that we sometimes forget there are still rural areas in need of modernized infrastructure to continue that service. Thanks to the partnership with our Wisconsin counterparts and East Central Energy, nearly 1,000 rural Americans across Minnesota and Wisconsin will experience just that.”

East Central Energy in Braham, Minn., is receiving a $40 million loan to improve infrastructure, connect 960 consumers and build 200 miles of transmission and distribution line. The utility will use $5 million of the loan to invest in smart grid technologies to improve system communications for more than 60,000 customers through 8,376 miles of line in eleven counties in east central Minnesota and three counties in northwest Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin is pleased to partner with our counterparts in Minnesota to improve electric infrastructure and connect more consumers in Burnett, Douglas and Washburn counties,” Frassetto said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner with rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Last modified: 08/18/2020

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