MAPLE GROVE, Minn.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Great River Energy has signed a 200-megawatt seasonal diversity exchange with Manitoba Hydro of Winnipeg, extending a 150-megawatt arrangement that has been in place between the two utilities since 1995. The new agreement runs until 2030.
“The new agreement with Manitoba Hydro helps continue that trend.”
“We are pleased to work with our long-term partner to secure this competitive power generation resource for our member cooperatives,” said Jon Brekke, vice president of member services for Great River Energy. “Seasonal diversity exchanges like this are a great way for both utilities to share capacity and diversify sources of power supply. The exchange makes use of existing transmission lines between the utilities, and helps ensure a more secure, stable and affordable energy future for our members.”
Over the years, Great River Energy has increased its purchase of wind energy and hydropower and has significantly reduced emissions at its power plants. “Since 2006, we’ve lowered our carbon emissions intensity by 20 percent,” Brekke added. “The new agreement with Manitoba Hydro helps continue that trend.”
Seasonal diversity exchanges take advantage of the fact that Manitoba Hydro’s load peaks during winter — due to the demand for heating — while Great River Energy experiences its peak loads in the summer, due to higher air conditioning use. The diversity exchange means Manitoba Hydro will provide 200 megawatts of renewable hydroelectric capacity to Great River Energy in the summer to meet its energy needs, while Great River Energy will provide Manitoba Hydro with 200 megawatts of capacity during the winter.
“Great River Energy has been a valued partner of Manitoba Hydro for many years,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “We are very pleased that we have signed this agreement extending our relationship for the next 15 years. This is a great deal for both Manitoba Hydro and Great River Energy.”
“This agreement highlights the ongoing importance of transmission interconnections with neighboring utilities,” added Thomson. “Not only do they allow us to sell excess hydroelectricity which helps keep Manitoba’s rates low, but they ensure that we have the ability to import electricity during periods of drought or during emergencies, enhancing the reliability of electrical service to all our customers.”
Great River Energy, based in Maple Grove, Minn., is a not-for-profit wholesale electric cooperative owned by 28 member cooperatives, serving approximately 650,000 member-consumers — or about 1.7 million people. Great River Energy is the second largest electric power supplier in Minnesota, with more than 3,500 megawatts of generation capability. Visit www.greatriverenergy.com.
Manitoba Hydro is a Crown Corporation and the province's major energy utility, serving over 548,000 electric customers across the province and almost 270,000 natural gas customers in communities throughout southern Manitoba. Manitoba Hydro operates 15 hydroelectric generation facilities and two thermal facilities and has a total generating capacity of 5,685 megawatts.