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 Sept. 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 Jan. 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.
Number of connected services: 19,094
Counties served: Blue Earth, Nicollet, Faribault and Le Sueur; parts of Brown, Martin, Freeborn, Sibley and Waseca
Year incorporated: 1935