Integrated resource plan accepted by PUC

Great River Energy’s plans for its generation portfolio gained important support on Oct. 25 when the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) accepted its integrated resource plan.

The April 28, 2017, filing detailed Great River Energy’s plans to reliably and cost-effectively meet its member-owner cooperatives’ energy needs for the next 15 years. By accepting the plan, the commission agreed that the plan is in the best interest of Great River Energy’s members.

The integrated resource plan was brought before the PUC at a public hearing in St. Paul where Vice President and Chief Power Supply Officer Jon Brekke and Senior Resource Strategist Zac Ruzycki answered questions from commissioners and other stakeholders.

Brekke detailed Great River Energy’s record of resource decisions, including: exiting two coal supply contracts; retiring a coal resource; initiating the CapX2020 transmission buildout; and offering 100 percent renewable energy to electric vehicle owners at no additional charge.

The commission accepted Great River Energy’s integrated resource plan by a vote of 3-1. PUC Chair Nancy Lange commended Great River Energy’s “customer-centric” approach to resource planning. Commissioner Dan Lipschultz observed that Great River Energy has been moving “pretty dramatically over time to a less carbon-intensive mix.”

“This was an important milestone for us, but it also allowed us to share the bold and innovative steps we have taken since filing our integrated resource plan,” Brekke said. “Our electrification initiatives and 50 percent renewable energy goal reflect very positively on our membership with the commission.”

Great River Energy must file its next integrated resource plan by April 1, 2021.