Service center opens in St. James Industrial Park

Great River Energy leaders, the mayor and city representatives of St. James, Minn., and Wilcon Construction recently cut the ribbon on a new 20,000-square-foot steel building in the St. James Industrial Park.

Ribbon cutting

Great River Energy and local officials who cut the ribbon in a new transmission service center included: Jamie Scheffer, director, St. James Economic Development Authority; Gary Sturm, mayor of St. James; Priti Patel, vice president and chief transmission officer, Great River Energy; Sam Hansen, St. James city manager; Todd Tetzloff, Wilcon Construction project manager; and Bill Freitag, CEO of Wilcon Construction.

“This service center is strategically located to serve our southern members,” said Priti Patel, vice president and chief transmission officer at Great River Energy. “The decision to buy this building was motivated by how we can best serve our member-owner cooperatives in southwest Minnesota for the long-term.”

The City of St. James Economic Development Authority approached Great River Energy last April about buying the building and site from the city to attract and grow local business.

Employees, inventory and equipment were previously located at a smaller service center at South Central Electric Association and another in Mankato at BENCO Electric, two member-owner cooperatives.

“We are so grateful to BENCO and South Central Electric Association for everything they’ve done in the past for our broader membership to house our technicians and equipment,” Patel said.

Vehicles and equipment for Great River Energy’s line technicians, telecommunications and metering employees will be stored at the building. Seven employees will work out of the new facility.