Great River Energy’s leadership and board of directors hit the road earlier this month to educate member-owners about the company’s performance and plans for the future.
Regional meetings were held in Mankato and Hinckley to offer a convenient option for both northern and southern cooperatives to attend in person. Nearly 200 member-owner directors and key staff heard presentations from every member of Great River Energy’s senior staff.
Great River Energy Board Chair Bob Bruckbauer opened both meetings by asserting the board’s focus on making the best decisions possible for the membership. According to Bruckbauer, Great River Energy has remained so well positioned in a rapidly changing industry because of the company’s innovative thinking and remarkable team.
“It has been a busy year, but a successful one,” said Bruckbauer. “There are certainly challenges ahead, but we are taking them on from a position of strength. The future is bright for this membership.”
Great River Energy President and Chief Executive Officer David Saggau’s remarks addressed the recently passed legislation requiring Minnesota electric utilities to serve 100% of retail electric sales without carbon dioxide emissions by 2040.
Before the law passed, Great River Energy was already on a trajectory to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2030. According to Saggau, cooperatives were deeply engaged through the process as initial carbon-free proposals evolved. Minnesota’s legislative leaders were willing to listen to the concerns of cooperatives, which resulted in important changes.
“We continue to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining affordability and reliability for our member-owners,” Saggau said. “Our portfolio of renewable resources combined with the ability to retire renewable energy credits to satisfy Minnesota’s carbon-free standard positions Great River Energy well.”
The nature of cooperatives
Cooperatives are owned and governed by their membership. Great River Energy is owned by 27 electric cooperatives that serve family farms and businesses 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.
“Informed and engage members are the foundation of strong and successful cooperatives,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Corporate and Member Services Officer Mark Fagan. “Great River Energy and our member-owners take very seriously our responsibility to provide information and answer members’ questions.”