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Cooperatives

Your electric cooperative belongs to you and the other members it serves. Learn more about the 28 co-ops that service MN and western WI. They’re always happy to help you get the most from your electricity.

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Counties served: Blue Earth, Nicollet, Faribault, LeSueur, parts of Brown, Martin, Freeborn, Sibley, Waseca
Year incorporated: 1935

Blue Earth-Nicollet Cooperative Electric Association (BENCO) was founded on May 11, 1936. The first recorded meeting took place on June 12, 1937, at Mankato City Hall. The first pole on the BENCO system was set on June 27, 1938, in Traverse Township, Nicollet County. The line was energized on September 16, 1938. Faribault County Cooperative Electric Association was founded in 1936.

These two cooperatives consolidated into Blue Earth-Nicollet-Faribault Cooperative Electric Association (Frost-BENCO Electric) on January 1, 1980. Wells Electric Cooperative was founded in July 1935. Frost-BENCO and Wells Electric cooperative merged in January 1, 1988 and become Frost-BENCO-Wells Electric. In 1998, Frost-BENCO-Wells Electric became a Touchstone Energy® partner and began doing business as BENCO Electric.