Dakota joins new renewable energy program

wind farm on cloudy day

The Wellspring program allows businesses to offset their energy consumption with renewable energy, such as electricity produced at wind farms.

Businesses interested in renewable energy have a new option in a Great River Energy program tailored specifically for commercial and industrial businesses.

Dakota Electric Association (DEA) has signed on to be a participant in the Wellspring C&I program, which offers large companies a new way to offset their energy consumption with renewable resources.

“It’s an easy, affordable option that helps them achieve their sustainability goals and also reduce their carbon footprint,” said Jill Eide, key account executive and manager of the program at Great River Energy.

The program allows commercial and industrial (C&I) members of Great River Energy member cooperatives to choose how much of their energy usage they wish to commit to renewable energy and how long of a commitment they would like to make, anywhere from five to 10 years. The special rate also extends to Great River Energy member cooperatives for their facilities and is how DEA is choosing to utilize it.

One-hundred percent of the energy used in DEA’s headquarters building will be offset using renewable energy credits (RECs) that Great River Energy will retire on DEA’s behalf, the same process done for Revolt electric vehicle program participants. RECs represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source and was delivered to the grid, ensuring businesses that resources like the sun and wind are powering their operations.

These RECs are officially tracked within the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, Great River Energy’s third party renewable energy tracking and compliance partner. Great River Energy is able to guarantee 100 percent wind energy to participants, with the option to change that in the future based on pricing.

“Our commercial and industrial members have been expressing interest to power their facilities from renewable energy. This new program allows companies to live their corporate values without having to build their own renewable energy facilities,” said Mike Fosse, vice president of energy and member services at DEA.

DEA’s Wellspring C&I contract goes into effect in January 2018.

Renewables at home

Great River Energy and its member cooperatives have long offered residential members a similar renewable offering, also called Wellspring.

Through the program, customers may choose to buy additional wind energy for a nominal monthly fee. Approximately 5,600 co-op members purchase Wellspring renewable energy.