Minnesota co-op recognized for commitment to renewable energy

Great River Energy is committed to providing 50% of its power supply from renewable resources by 2030

Today, Clean Grid Alliance (CGA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., whose mission is to advance renewable energy in the Midwest, presented a Leadership and Innovation Award by a Cooperative Electric Utility to Great River Energy (GRE) during its “Delivering a Renewable Energy Future” breakfast event. 

GREis a 28-member cooperative that serves approximately 1.7 million people across two-thirds of the state of Minnesota, and as such, is one of the largest generation and transmission cooperatives in the nation, and the second largest power supplier in Minnesota. 

In May, the coop announced the addition of 1,100 megawatts of renewable energy and the shuttering of its flagship Coal Creek Station plant. In addition, GRE is working on a 1-megawatt grid-connected storage system capable of delivering 150 hours of power to assure the reliable delivery of energy to customers.

The utility continues to transition its generation portfolio, add wind energy, rely more heavily on MISO market purchases and again lead on the next tranche of transmission in MISO West through the CapX2020 initiative. Great River Energy has committed to reaching 50% renewable energy by 2030 and is at 25% renewable this year and is on track to reduce direct carbon emissions 95 percent by 2023. 

“Over the past decade, CGA has been fortunate to work closely with Great River Energy and witness the track record of success that the GRE leadership team and company have achieved including clean energy and carbon reduction, adopting renewables, electrification, leading on building new transmission through the CapX2020 initiative, working on long-duration energy storage, service to members, and fiscal excellence,” said CGA Executive Director Beth Soholt. “As a cooperative utility that is member owned, at the end of the day, GRE must meet member expectations while being fiscally prudent for those who pay the bills.”

“We are proud of our accomplishments to develop carbon-free energy and the transmission necessary to bring more renewables to market,” said GRE President David Saggau. “Great River Energy has spent nearly 20 years adding renewable energy into our power supply portfolio – and we have a plan to serve our members with energy that is nearly carbon-free by 2023. Our job is to deliver what our members want. In a survey earlier this year, we learned that 89% of members believed moving toward more renewable energy is a good idea.”

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