Category Archives: Grid modernization

Could a planned blackout happen here?

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) made strategic and unprecedented decisions last month to temporarily shut off power to large swaths of its California customers to avoid a potential wildfire disaster due to high wind conditions. Schools closed, people scrambled to purchase supplies, patients in need of medical care were forced to evacuate, homes went […]

Co-ops cooperate on cybersecurity

Electric cooperatives share cybersecurity information with each other and industry partners as they work collaboratively to protect and secure the grid from cyberattacks. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort between the Department of Homeland Security and various industries—including electric cooperatives—to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and ensure all Americans have […]

Kandiyohi Power using new technology to balance grid

Kandiyohi Power Cooperative (KPC) is seeing the benefits of today’s sophisticated technology since it finished integrating its load management system with Great River Energy’s new demand response management system (DRMS) this spring. Load management is the process of balancing the supply and demand of electricity on the electric system by adjusting or controlling electric loads, […]

Co-ops weigh in at Senate clean energy panel

Eric Olsen, Great River Energy’s vice president and general counsel, was invited to Capitol Hill by the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis to participate in a meeting with other electric utility leaders to discuss the challenges they face in transitioning toward cleaner energy resources. The meeting, chaired by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), […]

Modern demand response system demonstrates potential for statewide expansion

Co-ops renovate aging infrastructure, invest in modern grid A partnership of two Minnesota electric cooperatives has resulted in the ability to send signals across hundreds of miles to perform activities critical for providing dependable and affordable electricity. The system, known as a demand response management system (DRMS), allows cooperatives to alleviate demand on the electric […]

Co-ops join forces to test new planning tool

A new software tool called DRIVE is being put to the test by Great River Energy, member-owner cooperative East Central Energy (ECE) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Distribution Resource Integration and Value Estimation (DRIVE) tool was developed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to help identify hosting capacity. Hosting capacity refers to the […]

Advanced technology saves time, future costs for co-op and its members

Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives now have new data analytics opportunities thanks to a project at Arrowhead Cooperative that combined the power of three technologies to pinpoint and prioritize load control receivers needing maintenance. Co-ops are able to send signals to load control receivers, which are devices on consumers’ heating systems, to switch from electricity […]

Early tests signal good news for demand response system

Promising results are coming in as testing progresses for the integration between Great River Energy’s new demand response management system (DRMS) and member-owner cooperative Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s (LREC) load management system. “We’re now transmitting messages to real-life hardware at LREC,” said Great River Energy’s John Reinhart, demand response and technologies lead. “There is a […]

Ten-year transmission plan in the works

Great River Energy is in the midst of its long-range transmission planning process, coordinating with its 28 member-owner cooperatives and other utilities to determine where transmission improvements will be needed in the future. According to Dave Kempf, manager of transmission planning engineering, many transmission projects in the past were driven by growth in the use […]

New project to crack open advanced grid capabilities for members

Great River Energy and its member-owner cooperatives will separate two major combined operating systems in 2018: the energy management system (EMS) and the distribution management system (DMS). The project will offer cybersecurity benefits, increase system performance and create flexibility for member-owner cooperatives to make some database and display changes in the DMS. While the primary […]