Great River Energy hosted a virtual event Tuesday, Oct. 5, for the Great Plains Institute (GPI), a nonprofit organization striving to ensure the United States is on the right path in the next decade to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
Great River Energy President and Chief Executive Officer David Saggau provided opening comments.
“Programs like this are so important,” he said. “Carbon management is mission critical for utilities and requires an ‘all-of-the-above strategy,’ including the retrofit of existing coal plants with carbon capture and sequestration, which is supported by the International Panel for Climate Change and the Biden Administration.”
Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Transmission Officer Priti Patel, who serves on GPI’s board of directors, welcomed attendees.
“I am so proud to be part of both Great Plains Institute and Great River Energy. These are two innovative organizations that are doing amazing work to advance the energy industry,” Patel said.
The remainder of the event featured speakers from GPI’s carbon management team talking about what is needed to expand and accelerate economy-wide commercial deployment of carbon management and industrial solutions by 2030 so projects and infrastructure can then be scaled to meet midcentury climate goals.
Hosting the GPI event is one example of how Great River Energy engages with outside organizations who have a stake in the decisions the cooperative makes. In preparation for filing its next integrated resource plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Great River Energy is conducting meetings with a variety of stakeholders.
Integrated resource plans are reports that certain utilities, including Great River Energy, are required to file with the PUC. They outline the next 15 years of the utilities’ generation planning, identifying the types and sizes of generation resources that will be used to serve the utilities’ load.
“Getting everyone involved is the cooperative way,” said Zac Ruzycki, Great River Energy’s director of resource planning. “As a cooperative, decision-making happens in our board room and within our membership, so it is very important to proactively reach out and make sure external groups have the opportunity to give feedback on the decisions that are happening within our cooperative. We find these interactions very valuable.”
Great River Energy Director of Government Affairs Stacey Fujii said legislators are another stakeholder group with which the cooperative regularly engages.
“Great River Energy is talking with legislators on a daily basis to inform them of what we are doing and hear any concerns they may have,” Fujii said. “Having ongoing dialogue with policymakers is just part of the way we do business.”