Where Your Electricity Comes From

May 14, 2020

When you turn the lights on in your house, there’s a large and diverse system of power generation facilities throughout the region that supply electricity to help keep your home bright.

Stearns Electric Association receives its wholesale electricity from Great River Energy, which carefully designs and maintains a diverse portfolio of power generation facilities and transmission resources in order to deliver reliable and affordable wholesale electricity to its 28 member-owner cooperatives in Minnesota.

Great River Energy’s (GRE) electricity comes from power plants, multiple wind farms, hydroelectric facilities, solar installations and the Midwest energy market. GRE’s power plants generate more than 2,800 megawatts of electricity, including coal-based plants that provide electricity 24/7 as well as flexible gas-fueled plants that typically run when demand for electricity is higher.

Renewable energy – including wind – represents an important and growing part of Great River Energy’s power supply portfolio. The 2007 Minnesota Legislature adopted a renewable energy standard requiring that at least 25 percent of electric utility annual energy sales come from renewable energy by 2025. GRE met this standard of 25 percent renewable energy in 2017 – eight years ahead of the state’s requirement.

Great River Energy voluntarily set a goal in 2018 to serve its all-requirements member-owner cooperatives with energy that is 50% renewable by 2030 and is well on its way toward meeting this new goal. GRE currently provides energy that is 30% renewable.

Great River Energy’s portfolio is carefully crafted to be dependable at all times while keeping wholesale rates competitive. This, in turn, helps Stearns Electric keep the lights on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.