Serving Our Members // CEO Column August 2023

I have mentioned it many times before, but LREC is here to serve you, our member-owners. We never take the service you deserve for granted, and we want to continue to increase the value of your membership. Our goal is to make sure you feel the value of being a member of LREC is not limited to the value of your capital credits, and we always strive to accomplish this goal through:

  • Providing educational opportunities such as learning about our energy transition at the Energy Forum held at Thumper Pond earlier this year and our engagement with teaching students about safety and electricity at schools in our service territory
  • Meetings with groups from churches and civic organizations throughout our service territory that I hope are enjoyed by our members as much as I enjoy them
  • Highlighting the local decisions made by the people you elect to serve on the LREC Board of Directors
  • Promoting economic development throughout our service territory by facilitating grant and loan opportunities for local developers that only electric cooperatives are eligible for by and through the United States Department of Agriculture
  • Showing appreciation for our members and engaging with members through our District Meetings, Annual Meetings, holding events like the Member Appreciation Day enjoyed by 700 or so people at Glendalough State Park in June, having a booth at the East Otter Tail County Fair last month, and the Free Twins Baseball/Softball Clinic for children ages 6-12 this month

Safety is our Priority
We never take safety for granted, and I really enjoyed a couple recent opportunities I had to meet with our crews in the field to “tailgate” with some grilled lunch and great conversations focused on safety and teamwork. Our statewide organization, the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), regularly visits our employees and conducts safety training for them to make sure they remain safe and to make sure our members and the public remain safe around electricity. Anthony Lenz, the Director of Safety Services for MREA, does a great job of staying connected with LREC on safety, as well as all the other Minnesota electric co-ops that are members of MREA.

Exciting opportunities for LREC
We all may have heard about different grant and loan opportunities being made available by the federal government. At LREC, we continue to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to opportunities that may benefit our membership. Staying on top of all the different grant and loan opportunities can be challenging, but very rewarding. LREC is currently involved with several grant applications submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy for funding related to:

  • A Utility Scale Battery Project
  • Acquiring 100 Residential Batteries
  • A Substation Tie Project
  • A Wind/Solar/Battery Storage Project
  • A Microgrid

Please note we do not know whether all, some, or any of the applications for funding referred to above will be granted. We will keep you informed as to the status of them as time goes on. Regardless, we continue to seek out these types of opportunities to best position our members for the future.

We challenge ourselves every day at LREC to do whatever we can to serve you, keep everyone safe, and stay proactive seeking opportunities that will help serve LREC members for many years to come. Thank you for your support and motivating us to be the best version LREC can be!