Why co-ops work - Great River Energy

Why co-ops work

Great River Energy provides wholesale power to 28 electric cooperatives that collectively own Great River Energy and provide electricity to more than 720,000 consumer-members.

While other types of businesses must produce returns for investors and other stakeholders, cooperatives focus on doing what’s best for their member-owners.

Great River Energy’s board of directors includes directors from our all-requirements member-owner cooperatives.

Over time, the membership evolves and directors change, but the structure of cooperatives ensures that the values of the membership guide the company.

Cooperatives work together to provide electricity at cost and reinvest in the communities they serve.

Co-op checks and balances

Before a decision is made by Great River Energy, it undergoes several levels of analysis and member involvement. Here’s the process for a major decision, such as entering into a new power purchase agreement.

Recommendation: Great River Energy staff makes a recommendation to board for an upcoming action.

Member deliberation: Directors have a month or more to discuss the decision with their local member-owner boards of directors and cooperative staff.

Risk analysis: Before a vote on significant items can occur, the board of directors receives an in-depth risk assessment on the decision.

Board action: Typically not less than one month after a recommendation is made, the board may vote on the measure. They may also opt to delay action until a later date

Member-owner approval: Once the board has approved a major decision, the boards of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives typically have 60 days to vote.

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