Better together: When cooperatives work together, they can accomplish great things. Throughout its history, Brown County Rural Electrical Association (Brown County REA) has served its members by forming unique partnerships among other cooperatives to accomplish what one cooperative simply could not.
Employees at Brown County REA have worked with other cooperatives to meet their members’ needs by offering services beyond safe, affordable and reliable electricity.
In 1992, Brown County REA, along with BENCO Electric Cooperative, Federated Rural Electric Association and South Central Electric Association, founded Cooperative Television (CTV) to offer affordable, over-the-air antenna television service. CTV now offers approximately 45 digital channels for a very low monthly subscription rate.
Brown County Rural Electrical Association line technicians perform maintenance on a utility pole.
Then in 1999, Brown County REA and eight other electric cooperatives joined forces to create Heartland Security Services, which offers security systems for residential and commercial members. The company has grown to include five additional cooperatives over the years and provides protection to more than 8,000 customers through home and business security systems, agricultural monitoring and medical alert systems.
In 2015, Brown County REA and 11 other cooperatives serving southern Minnesota formed Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative for the purpose of acquiring service territory formerly served by Alliant Energy, a for-profit utility. Brown County REA gained approximately 400 new member accounts, primarily in the communities of Comfrey and Hanska.