GRE clean energy transition brings era of rate stability

At a time when prices are rising on many products and services, Great River Energy (GRE) is holding its wholesale electricity rates relatively flat into 2022 and projecting rate stability into the future.

“We spent over a decade transitioning to a portfolio of power supply and transmission resources to efficiently serve our member-owner cooperatives,” said GRE President and Chief Executive Officer David Saggau. “The benefits of those decisions are now being felt. Wholesale rate stability is incredibly important to our member systems in greater Minnesota that are seeing sharp increases in other costs.”

Stable wholesale rate projections are due in part to changes in the way Great River Energy produces and purchases energy. The cooperative plans to eliminate coal from its owned power supply resources, more than double its renewables and purchase a greater portion of energy from the Midwest energy market.

These changes put GRE on-track to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 80% by 2023, surpassing Minnesota statewide emissions goal by more than 25 years ahead of schedule.

Twenty of Great River Energy’s 28 member-owner cooperatives will see their wholesale rates decrease slightly in 2022. The other eight member-owners will see increases, primarily due to reductions in planned energy purchases from GRE.

Great River Energy is owned by and provides wholesale electricity to 28 retail distribution cooperatives serving Minnesota (including Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric) and parts of Wisconsin. Each cooperative serves a unique membership with its own specific needs and expectations. GRE’s budgets, rates and major business decisions are voted on by a board of democratically elected directors, all of whom are cooperative members and ratepayers. “Our member-owners are clear about what they want from Great River Energy: affordable rates, reliable service and environmental stewardship,” said GRE Vice President and Chief Corporate and Member Services Officer Mark Fagan.