Summer Reliability // CEO Column June 2024

Daniel Carlisle // President/CEO & General Counsel

As temperatures begin to increase across Minnesota, leading to an uptick in demand for electricity to cool homes and businesses, Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative is working hard to ensure our members have the reliable power you’ve come to expect. 

To ensure power is available when our members need it, we work closely with our wholesale power provider, Great River Energy (GRE), to make sure plans and resources are in place to ramp up power supply even on the hottest summer days. When necessary, GRE is prepared to call upon an additional segment of its generation resources to meet this demand.

Great River Energy owns and operates a fleet of modern, flexible, and efficient natural gas “peaking station” power plants located at strategic locations throughout the state. These facilities can feed precise amounts of electricity onto the grid when members need it most, including on the hottest days of the year.

These plants are able to start up in a matter of minutes with the flip of a switch. Each of the stations undergo a process of critical maintenance work in springtime so they are in top form once summer rolls around and when they may be called on.

Pleasant Valley Station in Mower County is one of Great River Energy’s natural gas peaking plants. It has a summer generating capability of 421 megawatts.

Great River Energy has approximately 1,400 megawatts of peaking generation capacity available to provide energy in any amount — from a small boost to the fleet’s full output. Most of the GRE’s peaking plants are also “dual fuel” facilities, meaning they can operate on fuel oil when natural gas supply is constrained.

When combined with the high availability of wind in the Midwest, peaking plants provide stability today and flexibility for a future with new technologies and opportunities. They also help GRE manage costs for its 27 member-owner cooperatives.

With these assets in place, you can depend on Todd-Wadena to provide reliable, affordable electricity throughout all of Minnesota’s seasons.