Tim Thompson’s CEO Column // March 2023

Legislative Update
Last month, Governor Walz signed into law landmark legislation setting a 100% carbon-free by 2040 standard (CFS), meaning that all electricity must come from carbon free sources, or be offset by renewable energy credits (RECs), by 2040. All utilities have an interim requirement of 90% by 2035. Cooperatives have an interim requirement of 60% by 2030, which is a lower percentage than the requirement of 80% by 2030 for investor-owned utilities. The CFS also includes an increase to the renewable energy standard (RES) to 55% renewable by 2035 (from 25% by 2025).

Our statewide organization, Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), and our wholesale power provider, Great River Energy (GRE), both were instrumental in getting amendments added to the bill that make the CFS much more suitable for electric cooperatives. There are a number of ways to comply with the CFS other than serving all retail loads with resources that do not emit carbon dioxide.

The amendments referred to earlier allow the same RECs to satisfy both the CFS and RES and added language allowing net Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) purchases to meet the CFS to the extent that the MISO generation mix is carbon-free. These amendments were crucial because they will continue to allow GRE’s natural gas fired peaking plants to run for reliability, as well as give credit for carbon capture and sequestration technology.
Now that this is the law, we will strive to achieve it.

2023 LREC Annual Meeting
Our annual meeting is right around the corner and will take place on April 13th. We are once again looking forward to offering an annual meeting model that provides three in-person opportunities to attend the event. Please join us in one of the following ways:

  • In-person at the primary location of the annual meeting at Life Church in Fergus Falls
  • In-person at a satellite location at the Prairie Event Center in Parkers Prairie featuring a live video feed of the annual meeting
  • In-person at a satellite location at the Frazee Community Center in Frazee featuring a live video feed of the annual meeting
  • Virtually from your home, office, or wherever you are located at www.lrec.coop/annualmeeting

All three in-person locations will have meals, presentations, and a $10 bill credit. Please bring your family, friends, and neighbors to help celebrate LREC!