What is a cooperative?

Simply put, a cooperative is owned and operated by the members it serves. And members of the cooperative work together for a common goal.


  • Are businesses that are owned and democratically controlled by their members – the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods – not by investors.
  • Return surplus revenues (income over expenses and investment) to members proportionate to their use of the cooperative, not proportionate to their ownership share.
  • Are motivated by service to their members, not by profit.

Learn the difference between cooperatives and other types of utilities

Great River Energy is wholesale power cooperative; our member-owners are 28 Minnesota electric distribution cooperatives. Individuals and businesses are members of those distribution cooperatives based on their geographic location.

As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, we are a part of a nationwide alliance made of more than 750 electric cooperatives in 46 states. Electric cooperatives were established to provide electricity to rural America, and now make up the largest electric utility network in the nation.

Learn more at touchstoneenergy.com

Are you interested in working for a cooperative? Check out our career section.