2023 Annual Meeting a Success

Wadena, MN, April 25, 2023- With over 275 members and guests in attendance, Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (TWEC) celebrated the 2023 Annual Meeting at Wadena’s Maslowski Wellness and Research Center on Tuesday, April 18th.

In the board of director elections, Nominating Committee Chair, Wally Weise announced that incumbents Dale Adams, Kristine Spadgenske, and Gene Kern were re-elected for a three-year term. An organizational meeting of the Board was held immediately following the Annual Meeting, resulting in the following officers re-elected: Miles Kuschel as Chair, Tom Brichacek as Vice Chair, Marie Katterhagen as Secretary, and Dale Adams was selected as Treasurer.

Dan Carlisle, TWEC President/CEO reported on the Cooperative’s financial status, a short recap of 2022 rebates given back to members, and the major storm events that happened in the past year. Carlisle also highlighted the many different educational and member appreciation events that were held throughout the year. Carlisle then addressed some of the memberships’ concerns regarding the challenges that the Cooperative is facing. He spoke about the push for renewables, both residential and commercial, and how they are mandated to interconnect with the grid. The Cooperative also has the opportunity to utilize a Self-Generation renewable option and has been researching this topic – only with the intention of moving forward if it can save the members money. Minnesota’s legislation and mandates are also posing some challenges for the electrical industry, with over 400 bills that were introduced and may impact the Cooperative. The shift to carbon free by 2040 and the dependance on natural gas are creating a shift, as well as putting pressure on the transmission grid. He posed the question to the membership, is the expectation of reliable and affordable electricity for Todd-Wadena Electric members still attainable?

David Saggau, President and CEO of Great River Energy (GRE) was the guest speaker. His presentation included GRE’s rate forecast and the current generation portfolio. Saggau also confirmed the answer to Carlisle’s question, that yes, it is plausible that the expectation of reliable and affordable electricity for TWEC members is still attainable.

Ally Pavek, a senior at Wadena-Deer Creek High School, gave a short presentation on her youth tour trip to Washington, D.C. provided by Todd-Wadena. The 2023 scholarship recipients were also invited and were presented a certificate by Todd-Wadena.

In his chairman’s message, Miles Kuschel reflected on the past year- two major storm events in May and early June where staff and lineworkers spend hundreds of hours working diligently to restore power as safety and efficiently as possible. Kuschel also highlighted the completion of the new Leaf River Substation and construction of new line to handle the future needs of the members. Kuschel also emphasized the importance of Todd-Wadena’s Vegetation Management plan and why it is so important to mitigate power outages. Kuschel also reflected on recent legislation bills and energy policies with the recent Carbon Free Bill.

Following the meeting, members and guests were treated to a delicious meal which consisted of smoked pork chops, baked potato, mixed veggies, catered by The BBQ Smokehouse. Twenty-nine members left with door prizes which included cash, gas gift cards, and energy credits.