20 years on, still united and cooperative

On Jan. 1, 1999, two generation and transmission cooperatives completed the long and arduous journey to become a bigger, stronger and more competitive organization.

Cooperative Power and United Power Association merged to become Great River Energy. The new cooperative would provide energy from Iowa to Canada through its membership, which consisted of 29 member-owner cooperatives at that time.

Over the next 20 years, the nature of electricity changed. Renewable energy became a powerful force on the electric system. A regional power market – MISO – forever altered the way the electricity reaches members. And, technological advancements helped members use electricity much more efficiently.

Through it all, Great River Energy formed its own culture and identity while adapting to the needs of a changing membership. Today, Great River Energy is considered one of the most innovative and successful cooperatives in the country.

More than 200 employees currently working at Great River Energy were employees at the beginning of the company, including President and Chief Executive Officer David Saggau.

“I am so very proud of the company we have become over 20 years,” Saggau said. “Great River Energy was an ambitious idea, and we have fulfilled even the most optimistic expectations. Today, we are the company we had envisioned in 1999.”

As our company turns 20 years old, take a look at how far we’ve come.