Great River Energy: A community partner

As a cooperative, Great River Energy is deeply committed to sustainability through solid environmental policies and practices and helping to build strong communities.

In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest, Great River Energy continued to provide its member-owner cooperatives with reliable, affordable electricity in an environmentally responsible manner. This is the most important thing the cooperative does for the sustainability of its member communities.

To support local communities during the pandemic, Great River Energy employees held a drive to provide diapers and pet food to local food shelves.

Great River Energy is evolving its power supply portfolio to reduce environmental impact and continue to support its member-owners. The cooperative has adapted its power supply portfolio, lowering costs and reducing its dependence on coal, while improving overall flexibility.

In May 2020, Great River Energy announced plans to further transform its power supply portfolio by taking the following steps:

  • Shut down or sell the coal-based Coal Creek Station power plant and modify the coal- and natural gas-fueled Spiritwood Station power plant to be fueled primarily with natural gas.
  • Add 900 megawatts (MW) of new wind resources. This will more than double Great River Energy’s renewable capacity.
  • Install a 1-MW, long-duration battery demonstration system that employs first-of-its-kind storage technology.

Cooperatives are designed to support their communities and Great River Energy employees embody this commitment to community principle. Employees regularly rally their peers to raise funds or dedicate time to important causes. Over time, that culture of community adds up to a meaningful and lasting impact.

Some examples of sustainability in action at Great River Energy:

  • 2% of income donated to community causes
  • More than $90,000, including a $40,000 company match, raised for local organizations through the 2020 employee giving campaign
  • Creating habitat for pollinators: approximately 200 acres of native habitat to date
  • Food, blood, supply and book drives
  • Economic development efforts in member-owner service territories
  • Community-based sponsorships and contributions
  • A culture of safety

For more than 20 years Great River Energy has delivered on its commitment to sustainability and will continue to do so for the benefit of its member-owner cooperatives and the communities they serve.