Category Archives: Cooperatives

$25 million to members: Great River Energy returns patronage capital

Electric cooperatives aren’t like other utilities. The members are not only customers, they own a portion of the business. Great River Energy is owned by 28 distribution cooperatives. Cooperatives operate at cost, only collecting enough revenue to run the business. When there’s excess revenue collected, it’s returned to members through patronage capital payments. That’s what […]

Falcons return: Egg watch is on!

Great River Energy’s long-term peregrine falcon residents have returned to the Elk River, Minnesota, nest box. Brooklyn, the male, has returned for a seventh year and Breezy, the female, has returned for a fourth year. The pair produced four eggs between March 23 and March 29. The eggs are expected to hatch the week of […]

Line technicians power co-op communities

Line technicians play an important role in the local communities served by Great River Energy’s 28 member-owner cooperatives by bringing the power back on in the dead of night and cold of winter. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association dedicates the second Monday in April as a time to thank and recognize line technicians and […]

Transmission utility partnership builds under Grid North Partners

The CapX2020 partners announced March 9 they are evolving, moving into the future under a new name: Grid North Partners. Great River Energy was a co-founder of the transmission partnership CapX2020, a group of 10 utilities formed in 2004 to upgrade and expand the transmission system in the Upper Midwest. The CapX2020 partners successfully built […]

Touchstone cooperatives honor two nonprofits

Due to the impact COVID-19 had on local communities this past year, Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives chose to recognize two organizations that are doing outstanding work in their areas by presenting them with a statewide community award. This year’s winners are Tusen Tack, based in Braham, Minnesota, and Hope House, located in Bemidji, Minnesota. “This […]

Co-op donates $250,000 for ladder truck

Great River Energy recently contributed $250,000 toward the purchase of a new ladder truck for the Jamestown, North Dakota, Fire Department. The department previously utilized a ladder truck owned by the state of North Dakota that failed last summer. The new ladder truck will be a valuable addition to fight larger fires, especially in taller […]

Economic development shifts focus in face of pandemic

In a year that will long be remembered for its unprecedented challenges, Great River Energy found ways to adapt and continue working with its 28 member-owner cooperatives and economic development partners around Minnesota to support them and carve out opportunities wherever possible. Travel restrictions and mandated closures resulted in a slower start to the year. […]

‘A place where everyone is valued’

Valuing diversity means creating an environment that respects and includes differences, recognizes unique contributions of individuals, and maximizes the potential of all employees. As a result of regularly demonstrating these values through its culture of inclusion, Great River Energy received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). […]

Great year for safety, and a plan to improve

Great River Energy had a historic year for safety in 2020, recording the lowest injury rates in its 21-year history. As employees take on new projects in 2021, they are encouraged to learn from good catches and near misses to continuously improve the safety culture. Great River Energy’s remarkable safety scores are particularly impressive given […]