Local Governance & Regulatory Authority Recognized — CEO Column: February 2018
You’ve likely heard the term Distributed Generation or DG. DG refers to generally small-scale electric generation facilities (for instance, a solar panel or wind turbine) that is privately-owned and located at or near where its electric output will be used. These DG sites are often also connected to the distribution utility’s grid. The rules and regulations pertaining to DG interconnection were addressed during the 2017 Minnesota Legislative Session. Discussion centered around what regulatory body is responsible for the conditions of interconnection, rates, metering, contracts and agreements, and so forth. Should it rest with the Minnesota Public Utility Commission (PUC)?
Operation Round Up Awards Over $33,000 to Local Groups
More than one hundred local organizations recently received funds through Lake Region Electric Cooperative's Operation Round Up Program. A total of $33,050 was awarded to support a variety of organizations within the co-op's service area. The funds were distributed by the Operation Round Up Board of Trustees at a January 8th meeting. Beneficiaries include local 4-H clubs, fire departments, food shelf pantries, post prom committees, local college and high school scholarship foundations, county fairs, and community festivals. Funding to area food pantries will be sent in March to optimize matched donations during Food Share Month.
2018 District Meeting Schedule
Candidates for the LREC Board of Directors will be nominated in districts 1, 4, and 7. There will be a meeting held in each of the three nominating districts. You are invited to attend any meeting, although only members of nominating districts will be allowed to vote.
Widespread Outage Involving Transmission Line
On the night of January 4th, 2018, over 2,500 members, many who are served by the Lake Eunice Substation, were without power for several hours. The outage was caused by a broken jumper wire on a Great River Energy (GRE) transmission line near Audubon, MN, which feeds power to the substation. The failure was most likely caused by the cold temperatures—bitter cold can sometimes snap a wire in a connector.
LREC Approves $1.21 Million Capital Credit Refund
Your board of directors recently approved the retirement of $1.21 million in patronage capital credits in 2017. People and organizations who were members of Lake Region Electric Cooperative in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994 are receiving capital credit retirements. The financial plan is to bring down the disbursement cycle to a 20-year rotation by the year 2020. The 2017 capital credit disbursement is another step in this direction. This will make five consecutive years in which Lake Region’s capital credit retirement has exceeded a million dollars!
Looking Ahead to Hybrid “Green Energy” Project Benefits — CEO Message: December 2017
What happens when a single large wind turbine is combined with a commercial scale solar array? For the member-owners of Lake Region Electric Cooperative, the answer is three-fold. First and importantly, this hybrid wind-solar project will be a lower cost energy resource that will help keep your co-op’s electric rates stable and competitive. Not only will it be good for retail rates, but it also adds local, renewable energy to the existing generation sources on which we depend. Third, it will provide additional tax revenue to the county and state.