“Member Moment” highlights one of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives and how it uniquely demonstrates what it means to be a cooperative.
Tucked away near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Lake Superior and Ontario, Canada, is Arrowhead Cooperative. After forming in 1953 when the Lutsen Light & Power Company closed its doors, Arrowhead has fulfilled its mission by serving members ever since.
The northern Minnesota terrain does pose some challenges for an electric cooperative, but it also has its advantages. Unique to the area is the Midwest’s largest downhill ski area, Lutsen Mountains, which is one of Arrowhead’s members. In addition, over 91% of the co-op’s service territory is state or federal land.
Arrowhead is proud to be a part of its community and is heavily involved in local economic development efforts, housing projects and community organizations.
Employees of the cooperative are also invested within the communities they serve. Many volunteer as local first responders, give their time to charity organizations or serve on the boards of community groups.
In addition, Arrowhead also participates in the Operation Round Up program for both its electric and broadband account holders. In 2019, over $19,000 was given to local community organizations, raising the cooperative’s total donations to $342,000.
Working with Great River Energy
“We are small and do not have the resources that some of the larger cooperatives have, so [working with Great River Energy] is very much a partnership,” said John Twiest, general manager at Arrowhead. “[We appreciate] being able to call experts in whatever category it is whether it is member services, engineering or operations.”
Arrowhead has accomplished many projects in partnership with Great River Energy, including its load management system. Arrowhead worked with the data analytics and demand response team from Great River Energy to analyze the performance of its existing systems and develop enhancements.
Arrowhead also relies on Great River Energy to help meet their renewable energy standard goals and to continue to provide environmentally friendly services.