Make Safety Around Power Lines a Priority
We work hard to keep our electrical power system operational and safe. Yet, when it is damaged, hazardous conditions can result. For example, when a driver hits a pole, the energized line could land on the vehicle or end up on the ground where someone might come into contact with it. The power to neighboring homes is disrupted and has to be restored. Our crews must replace the pole and get the line back up, often in nasty weather or at night. Unfortunately, this hypothetical story is too often actually true. In fact, over the last two years, the number of public incident damages has increased, and this year’s trend so far doesn’t look promising.
Operation Round Up Grant Application Deadline is June 15th
The deadline to apply for a grant from Operation Round Up is June 15th! If you have a community project that needs funding, complete the Operation Round Up Application form and return it with supporting documentation for consideration.
Annual Meeting Recap — CEO Column: June 2018
I’m happy that many of our members attended the cooperative’s recent annual meeting. We greatly appreciate your interest and participation in Lake Region Electric Cooperative. We’re proud of our accomplishments and hope that you also share in that pride. That’s because you’re a co-op member, making this the utility that you own and control. All that we do, we do for you!
Committed to Safety — CEO Column: May 2018
Since their inception, electric cooperatives have acknowledged that operating safely is a priority. In fact, safety is an imperative. In our business there is absolutely no room for allowing compromising situations or taking shortcuts. It is Lake Region’s obligation to provide you with electricity in a manner that is safe. Just as important is our commitment to provide our employees with a safe workplace. Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s workplace extends along 5,746 miles of distribution power lines.
LRES Bringing Natural Gas to Dent and Miltona
After successfully delivering natural gas service to the communities of Deer Creek and Parkers Prairie last year, Lake Region Energy Services (LRES) will be growing its operation this spring. The plan is to expand off of the initial project and extend natural gas lines south of Parkers Prairie to the Miltona area and, in partnership with Greater Minnesota Transmission, extend south from the Viking pipeline east of Vergas to Dent. “We believe this expansion will create a new revenue stream for Lake Region Electric Cooperative,” says LREC Board Chair Charles Kvare. “It will result in positive rate benefits for all electric cooperative members, no matter where they are geographically located, because the natural gas utility operations will be offsetting costs of the electric cooperative.” Lake Region has gone from approximately $250,000 a year of non-operating income just over a decade ago to more than $1 million of non-operating income today. Embracing new and diverse revenue streams, like natural gas, helps provide members with more stable, lower electric rates. As a subsidiary of Lake Region Electric Cooperative, LRES was formed in 2017 through a working partnership with Greater Minnesota Gas. As LREC CEO Tim Thompson explains, the cooperative decided to step into the natural gas business after observing other companies bringing natural gas into LREC’s service territory. “Strategically, we decided to take a proactive approach,” he says. “Natural gas is one of the lowest cost, cleanest burning fuels available and will be a primary national energy resource for a long time. We see this as an opportunity to grow the cooperative.”