Three Wisconsin energy companies are seeing over $20 million in loans to improve rural electric infrastructure in the state.

The money comes from the USDA as part of a $1.6 billion package, the Electric Loan Program, to provide loans and loan guarantees to rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 21 states including Wisconsin.

“Reliable and modern 21st century infrastructure, including electric infrastructure and smart grid technologies, is a cornerstone for prosperity in rural America,” USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director Frank Frassetto said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures.”

Dunn Energy Cooperative, headquartered in Menomonie, is receiving a $9.5 million loan to connect 599 consumers and build and improve 73 miles of line. This loan includes $3.3 million in smart grid technologies, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.

Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative’s investment loan of $10 million will be used to connect 805 customers and improve 422 miles of line. This loan includes $493,000 in smart grid technologies. Scenic River Energy is headquartered in Lancaster.

OE WI Solar LLC is receiving a $960,000 loan to develop a 0.70 megawatt solar photovoltaic project in the town of Ashland.

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