Monthly Archives: January 2021

Evolution of electric system offers new sources of reliability

As ever more renewable energy is added to the electric grid, utilities continue to preserve one of electricity’s most important qualities: reliability. Large conventional power plants that have shut down in recent years are often replaced with new generators, such as wind turbines and solar panels, that can produce electricity at a lower cost. But […]

Co-ops restore power to thousands after blizzard

While the blizzard that hit Minnesota the night before Christmas Eve did little to damage Great River Energy’s transmission system, transmission partners that serve its member-owner cooperatives were not as lucky. “The blizzard caused damage to transmission facilities owned by other utilities, which left 11 of our members’ substations without power for sustained periods,” said […]

Member Moment: Connexus Energy

“Member Moment” highlights one of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives and how it uniquely demonstrates what it means to be a cooperative. Connexus Energy, the largest member-owned utility in Minnesota, has served its communities since 1937 when a group of residents formed the Anoka County Cooperative Light and Power Association and brought electricity to the […]

Local food shelves, schools benefit from mask donations

Electric cooperatives are guided by seven cooperative principles, and among them is a vow to support the overall sustainability of the communities they serve, which extends beyond providing electricity. “We know the coronavirus impacted millions of people, including some of our employees,” said Therese LaCanne, manager of communications and marketing at Great River Energy. “We’ve […]

Helping seniors connect, one iPad at a time

Social isolation is a concern for residents of senior living facilities. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, many seniors experienced trouble connecting with loved ones who live far away since using technology can pose some challenges. When the son of a Great River Energy employee heard about this challenge, he wanted to help. Dominic Bitzan, […]

A heat pump built for Minnesota winters and summers

Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) have been used for many years in nearly all parts of the United States but, until recently, were not common in areas with extended periods of subfreezing temperatures. However, in recent years, cold-climate ASHP (ccASHP) technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder […]