Great River Energy: Working together and doing what’s right

A message from David Saggau, President and CEO, Great River Energy: 

Great River Energy is focused on building a better future for the member-owners we serve and the stakeholders who are impacted by the things we do. Over the past several years, we have reduced costs, mitigated our carbon risk, added renewables and completed a transmission buildout. We’ve collaborated with member-owners to develop one of the largest demand response programs in the country while encouraging beneficial technologies that utilize renewable energy like the Revolt® program for electric vehicles. In addition, we are demonstrating a first-of-its-kind long-duration battery storage technology.

Over the years, Great River Energy has been responsibly transforming from a historically coal-dependent cooperative to one with low carbon intensity that will have zero coal. This shift allowed us to meet Minnesota’s renewable energy standard (30% by 2025) eight years ahead of schedule, and we will ambitiously meet the state’s carbon reduction goal (80% by 2050) 27 years early.

Last year, we announced plans to replace Coal Creek Station with 900 megawatts of wind energy, which will lower our costs and double our current renewable capacity. More recently, we decided to sell the plant because it saves our members money and allows us to preserve the jobs and communities in North Dakota. It is also the right thing to do. In addition, the company buying the power plant will pursue carbon capture and storage technology which we believe is something that could – and should – be replicated around the world. The sale of our high-voltage direct-current transmission system allows our member-owners to recover their investment in that asset, while securing the future use and operation of the critical system for the state of Minnesota and region.

Great River Energy maintains a portfolio of power supply resources designed to provide members with reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electricity. We are building a power supply portfolio and transmission system that will serve our membership well for decades.

Great River Energy has never been in a better financial position than it is today. Currently, our wholesale power rates are 12% below the weighted regional average cost of electricity, and we project wholesale rate decreases over the next several years.

Looking to the future, we are committed to electrifying the economy. Great River Energy and our member-owners play an intrinsic role in electrifying transportation, home heating and cooling, business applications, agriculture, manufacturing techniques, and more. Again, it’s the right thing to do.

Great River Energy is thankful for the support and guidance we have received from many stakeholders who understand the policy implications, but also the impact on people, costs and communities involved in a transformation like this. Specifically, a special thanks to the Minnesota-North Dakota chapter of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE), Great Plains Institute (GPI), and Clean Grid Alliance (CGA) who have helped us focus on practical solutions while working together, to do what’s right.

As a cooperative, our success is determined largely by how well we serve our member-owners and interact with the world and people around us. Our efforts are paying off. Today, our member satisfaction is at an all-time high, and we commit uncompromisingly to being a responsible corporate citizen and leader in the evolution of the electric industry.

David Saggau
President and CEO
Great River Energy