Your Power Supply

The cost to create and deliver electricity is composed of three general functions: generation, transmission and distribution. Dakota Electric Association is an electric distribution cooperative that purchases electricity from Great River Energy (GRE) a generation and transmission cooperative in Maple Grove, MN. Great River Energy is the second largest electric power supplier in Minnesota and one of the largest generation and transmission cooperatives in the country.

How does electricity work?

1. Great River Energy’s generating sites produce electricity.

2. Great River Energy’s transmission lines carry large amounts of electricity from a generating site to a substation.

3. At a Dakota Electric substation, electricity is converted from transmission power to distribution power.

4. Dakota Electric’s distribution lines carry electricity to homes and businesses.

Where does your power come from?

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Electricity Sources

For detailed information about the electricity Dakota Electric’s receives from Great River Energy, please visit their webpage on making electricity.

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Great River Energy has developed several solar installations across Minnesota — including one in Farmington (view production).

Learn More or visit our Dakota Electric Solar page.

Great River Energy purchases the electric output from six wind projects in Minnesota, one in Iowa and two in North Dakota totaling 669 megawatts. Additionally, Great River Energy has signed purchase power agreements to receive more than 900 MW of wind energy over the next few years.

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One of Great River Energy’s oldest sources of generation is hydropower from dams. Currently, GRE has a Diversity Exchange Agreement for 200 MW of hydropower with Manitoba Hydro.

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Power Plants

Spiritwood Station is the first of its kind in North Dakota. The power plant generates two primary products — electricity and steam. Great River Energy is transitioning the 99-MW coal and natural gas-based power plant to be fueled exclusively by natural gas.

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Peaking Generation

Cambridge Station is a state-of-the-art combustion turbine plant, an approximately 170-MW natural gas-fired power generation facility.

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Elk River Peaking Station is a 192-MW natural gas peaking facility located in Elk River, Minnesota.

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Lakefield Junction Station is a state-of-the-art combustion turbine plant capable of producing approximately 495 megawatts of electricity.

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Pleasant Valley Station is a 421-MW natural-gas-fired combustion turbine plant.

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Great River Energy owns and operates four combustion turbine plants located to the north and west of the Twin Cities area.

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Emergency Standby

The Arrowhead Emergency Generation Station is an 18-MW, Diesel-powered emergency standby electric generator located in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota.

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Some homeowners and businesses have installed solar panels, wind turbines or other generators. They use these to help power their homes, but still use the grid to bring electricity to their homes when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. During the times they generate more electricity than they need, they may sell that additional electricity to their Dakota Electric.

Learn more about interconnecting with Dakota Electric.

Since 2005, GRE has been part of a large and geographically diverse energy market coordinated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO is responsible for transmission planning and generation dispatch across a 15-state region. The generating resources in the MISO energy market reflect a wide variety of fuel sources that work together to provide you with safe and reliable power.

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Related Links

Great River Energy’s Service Area

GRE Contract Extension Update

During the August 2023 board meeting, Dakota Electric’s board of directors voted to approve a request for a 10-year extension to Dakota Electric’s wholesale power supply contract, aiming to extend it from 2045 to 2055. This extension grants Great River Energy the flexibility to:

  1. Pursue long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) for renewable energy sources and other carbon-free generation options.
  2. Issue long-term debt to support their strategic initiatives.
  3. Enable Great River Energy and member cooperatives to actively seek state and federal grant funding opportunities.

Great River Energy has consistently provided Dakota Electric and its members with a reliable and cost-competitive resource portfolio that progressively shifts towards lower carbon-emitting resources, positioning both organizations well for the future.