In June, Elk River Municipal Utilities (ERMU) became a member of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) after an extensive search for a new power supplier. MMPA is comprised of municipal utilities in Anoka, Arlington, Brownton, Buffalo, Chaska, East Grand Forks, Le Sueur, North St. Paul, Olivia, Shakopee, and Winthrop.
Currently ERMU purchases their power from Great River Energy (GRE) through a contract with Connexus Energy. In 2008, ERMU began researching power supply options after Connexus Energy gave ERMU a 10 year termination notice on the power contract. Troy Adams, ERMU’s General Manager, said choosing to partner with MMPA was a careful process. “We spent five years looking for our future supplier partner. As a PUBLIC POWER municipal utility, we sought competitive rates, and we wanted to be aligned with other like-minded utilities. You could call it safety in numbers,” he said. ERMU will be able to save customers money by purchasing its wholesale electricity from a municipal power agency.
Adams said ERMU wanted to have a “say in our future” by working with other municipal utilities that have a mission of public power, which is accomplished with a membership seat on the MMPA Board of Directors. “MMPA has a great track record and is an excellent fit for us, which made the decision clear for our governing body,” Adams said.
According to Steve Schmidt, MMPA board chair and City of Anoka council member, “We welcome Elk River Municipal Utilities to MMPA. ERMU will join our efforts to maintain healthy municipal utilities and serve their customers through our collective strength in producing, buying and selling power. The result is that our member communities have competitively priced, reliable and sustainable energy.”