As Minnesota relies more on renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar, some members are wondering: Will my power stay reliable?
“Our members depend on electricity around the clock, which is why we need access to diverse power sources at all times,” said Ryan Nelson, Manager of Engineering.
Kandiyohi Power Cooperative is a member-owner of Great River Energy. In addition to a portfolio that includes 10 power plants and hundreds of wind turbines, Great River Energy is a member of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO coordinates a massive energy market covering 15 states with hundreds of energy sources connected by thousands of miles of transmission. MISO members must follow strict rules to ensure electricity remains reliable.
“Every electric utility in MISO must have the capacity to supply electricity for the periods of highest demand — plus reserves in case of contingencies,” said Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Power Supply Officer Jon Brekke. “Being a member of MISO benefits our cooperative members by providing access to a vast pool of resources that help maintain reliability.”
As the electric system evolves and renewable energy expands, MISO continues to update its reliability requirements. Great River Energy advocates on behalf of cooperative members in MISO’s studies and as the requirements change.