Shifting regulations result in few changes

Although President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order calling for review of the Clean Power Plan, the action is expected to have minimal effect on Great River Energy and other Minnesota utilities. It will take the new administration a long time to navigate the maze of administrative, regulatory and legal procedures necessary to enact a new regulation. In the meantime, state policy and the changing energy markets continue to play an important role in shaping Great River Energy’s generation portfolio.

“Although environmental regulations affect our planning efforts and how we operate our facilities, our goal of doing what’s best for our members more strongly influences our decisions,” said Eric Olsen, vice president and general counsel. “Right now, the energy market is driving force behind our resource decisions.”

Like most Midwest utilities, Great River Energy has for much of its history depended on coal to fulfill the majority of its members’ energy needs. Gradually over the past few decades, the addition of new fuels and generation technologies has left the organization with a more diverse and lower carbon generation portfolio.

“Our portfolio is increasingly flexible and diverse, and we’ve done this while keeping our wholesale rates competitive,” Olsen added. “We’ve taken a business approach to meeting environmental regulations while evolving our generation portfolio.”