Providing quality service to the member-owners, outstanding reliability, new solar initiatives and innovations in power generation were a few of the topics discussed at Dakota Electric Association’s Annual Meeting, held in the social hall at St. Michael’s in Farmington on April 30.
President and CEO Greg Miller discussed actions taken by Dakota Electric to help keep costs down even as sales have remained relatively flat since 2007. He also discussed Dakota Electric’s conservation measures, load management programs, economic development efforts and cyber security, among other subjects. Regarding reliability Miller highlighted a few of the cooperative’s proactive measures.
“We will invest more than $1 million in tree clearing because trees damaged by weather are our top cause of outages,” said Miller. He also mentioned the completion of a new substation to improve reliability on the eastern side of the service territory.
Board Chair Jim Sheldon provided a brief update from the boardroom, including community involvement and donations.
“As a board, we were able to see first-hand the benefit of Dakota Electric’s donations to the Farmington Veterans’ Memorial, the Inver Hills Community College Foundation and the Fairview Ridges Hospital Foundation,” he said. “Donations toward these organizations are providing assistance that will benefit the communities for years to come.”
Sheldon also praised the dedication and commitment of Dakota Electric’s employees who he said work hard to serve the member-owners of the cooperative.
Board Treasurer Ken Danner gave an overview of the 2014 financials, which received a clean audit opinion from Dakota Electric’s auditor.
Will Kaul, vice president of transmission for Great River Energy, brought an update from the wholesale-power-supply side of the utility business. He discussed innovations and cost-saving measures performed by Great River Energy, which are helping to keep wholesale rates competitive.
The membership approved bylaw amendments and re-elected four incumbent directors to serve three-year terms: Jerry Pittman, district 1; Clay Van De Bogart, district 2; Ken Danner, district 3, and Judy Kimmes, district 4. As a cooperative owned by those it serves, Dakota Electric holds director elections and an annual meeting each year.