Great River Energy directors, member-owner cooperative directors and key staff gathered in early February at meetings in Hinckley and Mankato, Minnesota — while many also joined virtually — to hear about Great River Energy’s 2021 performance and results while learning more about what lies ahead.
Great River Energy hosts regional meetings annually to provide information to the cooperatives that collectively own and receive wholesale electricity from the company.
“Everyone here has been elected, appointed or hired to serve a cooperative membership. You provide electricity and other services to a special type of customer: a member-owner,” said Great River Energy Board Chair Bob Bruckbauer, who shared his expectations for serving members in the future.
“We have plans to serve all of you with energy that is cleaner and more affordable while remaining as safe and reliable as ever,” Bruckbauer said.
Great River Energy President and Chief Executive Officer David Saggau detailed the cooperative’s success in his opening remarks to the over 200 attendees.
“In 2021, we had incredible financial performance, remarkable reliability and made great progress on our strategies and power supply transition,” Saggau said. “We have plans to more than double our renewable energy, nearly eliminate carbon risk and reduce wholesale electric rates.”
The cooperative way
Cooperatives are owned and governed by their membership. Great River Energy is owned by 28 electric cooperatives that collectively serve 1.7 million people in Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin.
Events such as Great River Energy’s regional meetings are essential to inform the membership about the health of the cooperative and answer questions from member-owners.
“It is our privilege to serve our membership, and we take very seriously our responsibility to provide information and answer their questions,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Corporate and Member Services Officer Mark Fagan. “Cooperatives succeed when their members are engaged and informed.”
Great River Energy leaders answered dozens of questions over the two events, covering topics ranging from the financial condition of the cooperative to Great River Energy’s plans to keep electricity reliable as its power supply resources evolve.