Dakota County Electric Cooperative was founded in 1937 by a group of farmers, with the help of the Rural Electric Association. On April 5, 1937, articles were adopted and Dakota Electric was incorporated. On Monday, Feb. 21, 1938, the lights came on in rural Dakota County. At that time, Dakota County Electric Cooperative covered 240 miles and served 800 members.

In July 1969, Dakota County Electric Cooperative was renamed to what is known today as Dakota Electric Association. Dakota Electric has grown considerably since its humble beginnings, now covering 507 miles and serving more than 95,000 members. Because Dakota County cities are growing rapidly, Dakota Electric Association acquires approximately 2,200 new members each year.