Partnering with Great River Energy on our path to electrify the economy

As a utility with an energy mix that’s more than 70 percent coal, GRE’s leadership took the courageous step to seek out external stakeholders for deep engagement and advice. It conducted a process with the Great Plains Institute to “hear all the voices”, such as its largest industrial customers, lenders, regulators, and advocates (including me) seeking to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels. Based in part on those conversations, Great River Energy began to make very strategic shifts in their business, resulting in at least six big decisions over the past several years that Fresh Energy applauds as leadership worthy of national recognition.

Electric Cooperatives Connecting Pollinator Conservation and Clean Energy

“Butterflies, birds, and bees find a haven at Connexus” proclaimed the email recently sent to all members of Connexus Energy, Minnesota’s largest customer-owned electric cooperative. Connexus’ community solar garden hasn’t just been popular with its members — the site is also benefitting Minnesota’s bumblebees, honeybees, and foraging song birds — and is on the leading edge of a rapidly growing trend.