Member Moment: Nobles Cooperative Electric

“Member Moment” highlights one of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives and how it uniquely demonstrates what it means to be a cooperative.

Electric cooperatives were built to help serve rural communities. Serving a county with no stoplights or even railroads, Nobles Cooperative Electric (NCE) knows exactly what it means to serve its 6,300 rural members.

Local business

Lingen Dairy is one of the notable businesses NCE is proud to serve. In addition to the fourth-generation dairy farm, the business has grown to provide services such as custom harvesting and manure hauling.

The owners have implemented innovative electric solutions, such as robotics and dairy plate coolers, at the dairy. The robotics installed at their operation help with the labor of milking 400 cows, providing the flexibility that enabled them to start an ice cream business.

Concern for community

NCE is committed to supporting the communities it serves. From supporting youth events to selling generators, the co-op is always for ways to help and has made a conscious effort to be a more visible presence for its younger members.

NCE began an “All About YOUth” program to educate middle school students about electric cooperatives, safety, beneficial electrification and renewable energy. NCE also sponsors many events such as the Kiddie Pedal Pull.

NCE started selling Briggs & Stratton generators in 2018 and hit its 50th sale in July 2020 through word-of-mouth sales.

Understanding the value of electric vehicles, the NCE board of directors empowered employees to find an electric vehicle program to fit the needs of its members. After researching, the co-op purchased a Tesla to build excitement for the technology locally.

The cooperative has since used the vehicle to participate in many outreach efforts including parades, car shows, employee check-out and test drives for community members.

Nobles Cooperative Energy Communications Specialist Tracey Haberman stands near fast-producing lettuce varieties in the co-op’s new GroShed.

Working with Great River Energy

NCE works with Great River Energy to best serve its members.

“Great River Energy has always had a strong commitment to improving the quality of their members’ lives. That commitment strongly relies on having a reliable system,” said Tracey Haberman, member services manager at NCE.

Currently, NCE is working with Great River Energy on a new substation. NCE plans to have the distribution side energized this fall, with the transmission side energized in early

Great River Energy also worked with NCE to help fund its Living Green hydroponic gardening system, an 8-by-12-foot shed equipped to grow lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. The system has been up and growing since the end of 2019, with the produce being donated to area food shelves and serving as a community education tool.