Dairyland Power Cooperative adds to renewable energy portfolio

credit Eagle Creek Renewable Energy LLC Sartell no cropDairyland Power Cooperative is ­expanding its commit­ment to ­renewable resources with the ­purchase of output from Sartell Hydro, a hydroelectric ­generation station located on the Mississippi River in Sartell, Minn. Dairyland Power ­provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution ­cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

Dairyland Power has a long-term power purchase agreement with Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, LLC, for the facility’s total output of 10 MW. Sartell Hydro is expected to power approximately 4,500 homes with water-powered electricity.

“Dairyland appreciated working with Eagle Creek, an experienced hydro developer, to achieve this ­agreement which will be beneficial to our members and the ­environment,” said John Carr, Dairyland Vice President, Strategic Planning.

Sartell Hydro was originally built between 1905 and 1907 to supply mechanical power to grind wood pulp for the adjacent paper mill. The ­facility was converted to exclusively ­producing electric power in 1985. Eagle Creek Renewable Energy acquired Sartell Hydro from American Industrial Metals, Inc., in 2014 and returned it to service as a 10 MW hydro project.

“Eagle Creek is proud to have restored the Sartell Hydro ­facility to operation and expects to ­provide clean, renewable electricity to Dairyland’s members for many years to come,” said Matt Ocwieja, Eagle Creek Director of Finance.

The dam location was originally utilized for industrial purposes before refurbishment was completed last year. The facility meets all Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing requirements and produces electricity with zero carbon output.

“The addition of Sartell Hydro to our power purchase portfolio is important to the continuing growth of Dairyland’s ­renewable energy portfolio. Since Dairyland owns the Flambeau Hydro Station in Wisconsin, we have long known that water-powered facilities are an excellent resource for ­generating renewable energy. The Sartell Hydro ­project helps Dairyland ­further fulfill our mission to provide reliable, environ­mentally responsible electricity to our members,” said Carr.

Hydroelectric dams are among the greenest and most affordable electricity sources in the world-and by far the most widely used renewable energy sources. Today hydroelectric power accounts for seven percent of U.S. electricity generation-and some two-thirds of the country’s ­renewable power according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Globally, about 19 percent of electricity comes from hydroelectric sources. Since hydropower can be generated and released when most needed, it is an important resource for backup power when intermittent sources like wind and solar aren’t available.

For more information on Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, visit www.eaglecreekre.com.