“Dakota Electric’s reliability is some of the best in the nation,” Greg Miller, president and CEO of Dakota Electric Association, told members at the cooperative’s Annual Meeting on April 8. Miller was referencing industry data that tracks utility reliability. Good weather helped the reliability indices, but ongoing planning, good system design and regular monitoring of aging lines all worked together to keep reliability high, Miller said.

Members listened to board reports and interacted with board members and management at the electric cooperative’s annual business meeting held in the community room at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Farmington. 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, Hastings, district 4.

Besides discussing reliability, Miller talked about the cooperative’s budget reduction efforts, high customer satisfaction scores and the potential impact of future legislation on electric rates. Other speakers included Great River Energy Director Clay Van De Bogart and Midwest Energy Services Board Chair Jerry Pittman.

Van De Bogart discussed upward pressures on wholesale costs as well as innovative coal drying technology developed by Great River Energy that improves efficiency from the company’s Coal Creek Station power plant.

“By drying the coal and lowering the moisture content before burning it,” Van De Bogart said, “Great River Energy increases the plant efficiency and reduces emissions. Great River Energy holds the patents and plans to sell the technologies to other utilities.”

Director Pittman told those gathered that Dakota Electric’s subsidiary businesses, Energy Alternatives and Consulting Engineers Group, continue to be profitable.

“The last four years have proven to be Consulting Engineers Group’s most profitable,” Pittman said. In the last four years, Consulting Engineers Group has done a high volume of work for the wind industry, designing wind farm electrical systems and substations.

Other reports included a business overview by Board Chair Jim Sheldon and a financial summary by Treasurer Ken Danner.