U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association a rural electric infrastructure loan that will be used to connect 160 new consumer lines and improve 243 miles of distribution line.

The loan will also fund nearly $7.1 million in smart grid technologies for the co-op, which is based in Litchfield and serves 8,917 consumers with 1,936 miles of power lines in Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville, Stearns and Wright counties. Klobuchar said the project not only boosts the economy but provides good-paying jobs for Minnesota.

Smith said the USDA investment in rural Minnesota’s electric infrastructure, including smart grid technology, could help reduce power outages, integrate renewables and lower energy costs for consumers.

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