New Headquarters will be Served by TWEC // CEO Column September 2020

After months of hard work, we are nearing the end of construction on Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s new headquarters building. In conjunction with building the new facility, we took a look at all possible efficiencies and changes in operations.

One efficiency that was evident was a decision to provide our own electric service for the building, rather than continuing to receive our electric service from the City of Wadena. Extensive research has revealed that TWEC will be able to save our members money by serving ourselves. 

Todd-Wadena’s right to make this decision is protected by Minnesota Statute 216B.40 – Exclusive Service Right; Service Extension. The statute allows for this type of extension “…if the extension is necessary to facilitate the electric utility connecting its facilities…”

Through our power supplier, Great River Energy (GRE), TWEC is able to enroll in an interruptible rate. An interruptible rate can offer significant rate savings because the member agrees that GRE can control the load during energy peaking times. By shaving energy use during the peak time when it is most expensive, GRE can purchase energy at much lower prices. This results in lower rates. Enrolling in the interruptible rate for our new headquarters building results in a rate that is nearly half of what TWEC currently pays to power our facility. 

The significant savings an interruptible rate will provide guided our decision to invest in our own distribution line to our headquarters. Approximately one mile of underground line will run from a line connected to our Hewitt substation to the new headquarters building. The installation of this line will allow Todd-Wadena to begin serving our own energy needs. We also purchased a generator to serve as a back-up power source to ensure reliable service and to make the interruptible rate possible.

Throughout the construction process, we continue to look for ways to serve our members as safely and efficiently as possible. We are thankful for the opportunity to save our members money and are looking forward to serving our own energy needs at the new headquarters building.