Arlington, VA, February 22, 2013 –The Energy Department has awarded East River Electric Cooperative in Madison, South Dakota, the 2013 Wind Cooperative of the Year in the category of generation and transmission cooperatives.
The 12th annual awards, presented at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) TechAdvantage Conference in New Orleans, honored East River in the generation and transmission cooperative category and Golden Valley Electric Association in Alaska for wind development by a distribution cooperative. The award selections were made by a panel of wind industry, utility, government, national laboratory and cooperative experts.
A wholesale electric power supply cooperative serving eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota, East River is regarded as one of wind power's earliest champions for installing the first utility-scale wind turbines in the Dakotas. In 2009, the co-op created South Dakota Wind Partners LLC (SDWP), a model for community-based, locally owned wind development that relied on South Dakota citizens rather than large equity investors. The concept received overwhelming acceptance, meeting the aggressive offering goal of $16 million in just 60 days with investments from more than 600 South Dakotans.
“South Dakota Wind Partners demonstrated a new model for developing renewable energy projects by enabling widespread local ownership,” said East River General Manager Jeff Nelson.
“East River and its members are very pleased that the South Dakota Wind Partners created new local wealth and proved a new model for accomplishing that goal.”
For more information on DOE's Wind Powering America outreach and stakeholder engagement initiative, visit windpoweringamerica.gov.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.