New renewable energy option offered for businesses

Monday, November 27, 2017

An expansion to the Wellspring program is giving the largest businesses served by Great River Energy’s member cooperatives a new way to power their businesses with renewable energy.

The Wellspring program has long offered residential members the opportunity to purchase wind energy in an amount up to their normal monthly consumption. Now, commercial and industrial (C&I) members are being given the same chance.

 “Many large companies are looking for ways to offset their energy consumption with renewable resources so we designed an easy, affordable option that helps them achieve their sustainability goals and also reduce their carbon footprint,” said Jill Eide, key account executive and manager of the program at Great River Energy.

The Wellspring Business Program allows C&I members of participating Great River Energy member cooperatives to choose how much of their energy usage they wish to commit to renewable energy and how long of a commitment they would like to make anywhere from five to 10 years.

Companies will actually be purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) that Great River Energy will retire on their behalf, the same process done for Revolt electric vehicle program participants. RECs represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source and was delivered to the grid, ensuring businesses that resources like the sun and wind are powering their operations.

These RECS are officially tracked within the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, Great River Energy’s third party renewable energy tracking and compliance partner. Great River Energy is able to guarantee all-wind energy to participants, with the option to change that in the future based on pricing.

Businesses must purchase a minimum of 1,500 RECs to participate in the program, or a minimum of 5,000 RECs in aggregation annually, not to exceed 100 percent of their energy usage.

“This offering is another example of Great River Energy’s commitment to delivering new energy solutions for our cooperatives and their C&I customers,” Eide said.

This special rate also extends to GRE’s all-requirements member cooperatives for their facilities. Dakota Electric Association (DEA) has signed on to be the first participant in the program by offsetting the energy used at its headquarters building with renewable energy.

“Our commercial and industrial members have been expressing interest to power their facilities from renewable energy. This new program allows companies to live their corporate values without having to build their own renewable energy facilities,” said Mike Fosse, vice president of energy and member services at DEA.

DEA’s Wellspring C&I contract goes into effect in January 2018.

Jon Brekke, vice president of power supply at Great River Energy, sits with Dakota Electric Association President and CEO Greg Miller as he signs the cooperative's contract to participate in the Wellspring C&I program.

Category: Dakota Electric Association