USDA invests $19.4 million to improve, expand electric development in rural Wisconsin

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 4:34 PM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The USDA Rural Development State Director for Wisconsin Julie Lassa announced Monday the department is investing $19.4 million to help two electric cooperatives expand and modernize Wisconsin’s rural electric grid and increase grid security.

“These are exciting, long-term infrastructure investments that will help rural electric cooperatives and utilities build and improve their systems,” said Lassa. “Ultimately, this investment will strengthen opportunities in our rural communities while making the electric infrastructure more reliable and affordable for the residents and businesses who depend on it.”

Some examples of how the funding will be used in Wisconsin include Oconto Electric Cooperative receiving a $12.9 million loan to connect 614 consumers and build and improve 157 miles of line. Additionally, Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative is receiving a $6.5 million loan to connect 573 consumers and build and improve 75 miles of line.

The USDA is investing in 64 total projects through the Electric Loan Program. This funding will benefit nearly 2 million rural people and businesses across 26 states. The loans include $613 million to help rural utilities and cooperatives install and upgrade smart grid technologies.

For more information on rural development in the state, click here.