NORTH HAVEN, Maine — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving an island electric co-op in Maine a loan of more than $1.5 million to make improvements.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree says the money has been set aside for the Fox Islands Electric Co-op in Vinalhaven and North Haven. The loan would pay for electrical system improvements.

Pingree says year-round island communities in Maine run their own electrical systems, and maintaining those systems can be expensive. The USDA says the money will fund work, including improvements to 5 miles of line.

The two island communities own the co-op. Pingree is a resident of North Haven. She says the electrical energy for the islands’ grid is mostly generated on Vinalhaven by a community-owned wind farm. It’s also partly purchased from the mainland.