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Federal Loan To Improve Iron, Vilas Power Lines


Power lines in Vilas county will be upgraded thanks to a large federal loan awarded to Bayfield Electric Cooperative.

USDA Rural Development is making investments through the Electric Infrastructure Loan Program says Wisconsin Rural Development Director Frank Frasetto.

He outlines a Northwoods project...

"...In the case of northern Wisconsin, Bayfield Electric Coop is getting a $5 million loan to build 14 miles of line, improve 30 miles of existing line and make other system improvements....."

The upgrade enables what's called a 'smart grid' where there's a two-way monitoring of power useage.

Frasetto details what counties will see the upgrades...

"....Douglas is included in there, Ashland, Bayfield and as you mentioned, Iron, Sawyer and Vilas counties. It even goes up into Gogebic county in the U.P...."

Frasetto says the lines and upgrade will benefit the Northwoods by improving the affordability and reliability of electric power.

Nationally, USDA is investing $345 million in 20 infrastructure projects in 14 states, including the Bayfield Electric Cooperative upgarde. The USDA Secretary Perdue presented President Trump with 31 recommendations to improve programs in rural America.

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