Category Archives: Grid modernization

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 […]

Energy management system continues stellar reliability

Great River Energy’s energy management system (EMS), which is a sophisticated computer system used to control generation and transmission assets, has been highly reliable from 2012 to 16, with average availability hovering at 99.97 percent. Last year was no exception as the system was available to Great River Energy’s system operators and members 99.96 percent […]

Pilot projects keeping co-ops on the go

Great River Energy has a strategic imperatives that reads: “In collaboration with members, employees and other stakeholders, develop the capabilities and solutions to address industry change.” This is where the cooperative’s growing list of pilot and demonstration projects fits into the big picture. In addition to the ongoing electric school bus and grid-interactive water heater […]

Building with energy in mind

Dakota Electric Association, in partnership with Great River Energy, is conducting a pilot project utilizing grid-integrated water heaters that will have advantages for both consumer and cooperative. Country Joe Homes of Lakeville, Minn., is collaborating with the two cooperatives to install grid-interactive electric thermal storage (GETS) water heaters in 81 homes in the Legacy 2 […]

Demonstrating the value of data analytics

While data analytics is nothing new to the electric utility industry, unprecedented amounts of data present the opportunity for cooperatives to create ever more value for their members. By better understanding patterns of energy use, cooperatives can serve members more efficiently and cost-effectively. Teams consisting of employees from Great River Energy and its member cooperatives […]

Leaders and innovators focus on the future

Approximately 120 employees and leaders from Great River Energy and its 28 member cooperatives spent two days learning from leading utility, research and technology experts. They discussed key drivers of change in the electric utility industry – such as advanced grid technologies – rising customer expectations, distributed energy resources and the many visions of the […]

Demand response advances, opening new opportunities

Utilities have long understood that they can use the electric system efficiently and economically by reducing demand at certain times. Great River Energy is a leader in this discipline, known as demand response. “Through the efforts of our retail member distribution cooperatives we have tens of thousands of members that allow Great River Energy to […]

Advanced meters lay groundwork for new capabilities

Great River Energy and its members continue to install technologies that will allow for more service options for customers in the future. Advance metering infrastructure (AMI) is a key technology that can enable a multitude of grid enhancements and benefits to customers, including improved reliability, more information with which to make decisions on energy use […]

Loud and clear: Two-way radio system upgrade complete

When Great River Energy line crews are dispatched to remote locations or outage areas, they need to be able to talk to each other and to system operators so they can identify where faults are located and fix the problems. To do that, they rely on their two-way radio system, or trunked mobile radio (TMR). […]