A diverse mix of generation resources

Our power plants generate more than 2,800 megawatts of electricity and several solar arrays are capable of producing 650 kilowatts. In addition, we purchase wind and hydroelectric energy.

We carefully design and maintain a portfolio of power generation facilities and transmission resources to deliver reliable and affordable wholesale electricity to the regional electricity market and our member-owner cooperatives.

Generation resources of varying sizes, locations and fuels each serve a specific purpose within our resource network.

Renewable energy – including 669 megawatts of wind energy – represents an important and growing part of our power supply portfolio. 

In 2018, Great River Energy voluntarily set a goal to serve its all-requirements member-owner cooperatives with energy that is 50 percent renewable by 2030. We are well on our way toward meeting this new goal and have set interim renewable energy goals of 30% by 2020 and 40% by 2025. Over the past five years, all of Great River Energy’s new energy resources have been renewable.

The 2007 Minnesota Legislature adopted a renewable energy standard requiring that at least 25 percent of electric utility annual energy sales come from renewable energy by 2025. Great River Energy met Minnesota’s renewable energy standard of 25 percent renewable energy in 2017 – eight years ahead of the state’s requirement.

 

Power plants

Our power plants use coal and natural gas to generate electricity for our member-owner cooperatives. And, our combined heat & power plant produces more than electricity.

Renewables

Our generation portfolio includes environmentally sound renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydropower. Great River Energy met Minnesota’s renewable energy standard of 25 percent renewable energy in 2017 – eight years ahead of the requirement. Now, we're committed to supply our member-owner cooperatives with energy that is 50 percent from renewable resources by 2030.

Distributed generation

Distributed generation is small-scale electric generation that is connected to, or located near, homes or businesses for the purpose of serving local power needs. Renewable systems, like small solar or small wind, are often used for distributed generation. Standardized rules are in place for all utilities to ensure safety, reliability and fair costs for these small-scale power producers and utility customers.

Future plans

Our Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is a proposal to reliably and safely meet our member-owner cooperatives’ energy needs in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way for the next 15 years. The plan also analyzes the future electricity needs of our member-owner cooperatives, which we are well positioned to meet.