2017: Partners in power

Electric cooperatives formed Great River Energy to supply the energy they need to power their members’ lives. Great River Energy does that by remaining financially sound, keeping rates stable and competitive, and continually evaluating its generation and transmission system to make sure it meets members’ needs.

In 2017, Great River Energy served its members well and positioned itself for more strong performances in the years ahead.

Sharing financial success

Great River Energy recorded impressive finances in 2017 and ended the year on a high note, refunding $6 million to its 28 member-owner cooperatives.

Although 2017 was successful, Great River Energy’s member cooperatives continue to see flat or declining energy sales. Efforts to position the generation portfolio and reduce costs have improved wholesale electricity rate projections and fortified an already strong financial position.

Great River Energy estimates rates will increase by approximately 1.5 percent annually over the next 10 years, slower than the anticipated pace of inflation.

A modern generation portfolio

As part of its efforts to position the portfolio, Great River Energy deployed a strategy that allowed it to meet Minnesota’s renewable energy standard of 25 percent renewable energy in 2017 – eight years ahead of the requirement.

Putting energy to good use

Technology advancements are continually making appliances and other electric devices more efficient, while power plant retirements and renewable energy development are reducing the environmental effect of the electric system.

These two converging trends make it clear that electricity is a smart choice, and there is growing support for using electricity efficiently in new ways.

Great River Energy’s member cooperatives continued offering the Revolt program, which allows members to charge their electric cars with 100 percent wind energy at no extra cost.

Great River Energy’s member cooperatives also incentivize homeowners to make efficient electric investments, such as heat pumps and storage water heaters. Similar programs are available for commercial and industrial members for major installations, such as efficient motors and lighting.

Doing right by employees

On Oct. 4, the State of Minnesota, on behalf of Gov. Mark Dayton, proclaimed Great River Energy as Minnesota’s 57th Yellow Ribbon Company. The Minnesota Department of Military Affairs awards the Yellow Ribbon to organizations that unite all key areas within a company structure to proactively support service members, military families and veterans.

Great River Energy was certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work(R) . The cooperative was also designated as the 18th healthiest workplace in America from Healthiest Employers. The program honors the “best of the best” in corporate wellness and population health, and Great River Energy is proud to be honored as a leader in corporate wellness.