FARMINGTON, Minn. (April 2, 2007) — “Membership Makes the Difference” was the theme for Dakota Electric Association’s annual meeting, held March 29 at the cooperative’s Farmington office. The annual meeting provides an opportunity for member-owners to hear reports about the business and ask questions. This year’s theme focused on Dakota Electric’s 70-year history of serving its members with safe, reliable electric service.
Members heard from Board Chair Margaret Schreiner, subsidiary Chair Jim Sheldon, Treasurer Clay Van De Bogart, President and CEO Greg Miller and Greg Ridderbusch of Great River Energy, Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supplier.
Miller’s presentation focused on rates, reliability, service, safety and the environment.
“Our outage goal each year is monitored by the Public Utilities Commission,” Miller said. “Dakota Electric’s actual performance in 2006 was 30 percent below the threshold they look at; meaning, we have very good reliability.”
Miller gave examples of quality service members have come to expect. “We energize new services in an average of less than four days,” Miller said. “We have developed a system to answer most calls with a real person, not a computer driven menu.” Miller also reported on Dakota Electric’s improving safety records.
Schreiner reported on the board’s accomplishments including monitoring legislation, educating legislators on energy issues, managing Dakota Electric’s growth and change, updating policies, paying out capital credits and more.
Ridderbusch discussed Great River Energy’s coal-drying innovations that improve efficiencies and reduce emissions at its largest power plant. He also informed the audience of Great River Energy’s use of waste heat to make ethanol and the environmental and financial benefits of selling fly ash, a former waste product from coal combustion.
Van De Bogart discussed the financials including a $3.2 million operating margin for 2006, and Sheldon discussed subsidiary business including a review of projects completed by Consulting Engineers Group.
“In the past year, Consulting Engineers Group has connected more than 200 megawatts of wind farms onto the grid in Minnesota , Iowa , North Dakota and Oklahoma and generated more than $6 million in revenue,” said Sheldon.
As a cooperative owned by those it serves, Dakota Electric holds director elections and the annual meeting each year. The membership re-elected all incumbent directors: Carl Potter, Burnsville , district 1; Jim Sheldon, Apple Valley, district 2; Bill Holton, Apple Valley, district 3; and Paul Trapp, Hampton, district 4. A bylaw change also passed.
A customer-owned, nonprofit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 99,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member-owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.